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Working Paper, No. 2021-07, May 2021 Crossref
Identifying Taste-Based Discrimination: Effect of Black Electoral Victories on Racial Prejudice and Economic Gaps

I test for the causal impact of Black electoral victories in local elections on White Americans’ attitude toward Black Americans. Using Race Implicit Attitude Test scores as a measure of racial prejudice and close-election regression-discontinuity design for causal inference, I find Black electoral victories cause measures of racial bias to rise, by 4% of the average Black-White difference in IAT scores. Simultaneously, they widen racial gaps in unemployment and mortgage denials. Interpreting these close electoral victories as instrumental variables, I find a large causal effect of prejudice-based racial discrimination on Black-White economic gaps.


Working papers are not edited, and all opinions and errors are the responsibility of the author(s). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the Federal Reserve System.

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