Ethan J. Schmick
Washington & Jefferson College
60 S. Lincoln St.
Washington, PA 15301
Institutional Affiliation: Washington & Jefferson College
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2020||Changes in Black-White Inequality: Evidence from the Boll Weevil|
with Karen Clay, Werner Troesken: w27101
This paper investigates the effect of a large negative agricultural shock, the boll weevil, on black-white inequality in the first half of the twentieth century. To do this we use complete count census data to generate a linked sample of fathers and their sons. We find that the boll weevil induced enormous labor market and social disruption as more than half of black and white fathers moved to other counties following the arrival of the weevil. The shock impacted black and white sons differently. We compare sons whose fathers initially resided in the same county and find that white sons born after the boll weevil had similar wages and schooling outcomes to white sons born prior to its arrival. In contrast, black sons born after the boll weevil had significantly higher wages and years of sc...
|March 2019||The Impact of Early Investments in Urban School Systems in the United States|
with Allison Shertzer: w25663
Cities in the United States dramatically expanded spending on public education in the years following World War I, with the average urban school district increasing per pupil expenditures by over 70 percent between 1916 and 1924. We provide the first evaluation of these historically unprecedented investments in public education by compiling a new dataset that links individuals to both the quality of the city school district they attended as a child and their adult outcomes. Using plausibly exogenous growth in school spending generated by anti-German sentiment after World War I, we find that school resources significantly increased educational attainment and wages later in life, particularly for the children of unskilled workers. Increases in expenditures can explain between 19 and 29 perce...