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The Impact of Federal Civil Rights Policy on Black Economic Progress: Evidence from the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972

Kenneth Y. Chay
ILR Review
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Jul., 1998), pp. 608-632
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/2525011
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2525011
Page Count: 25
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The Impact of Federal Civil Rights Policy on Black Economic Progress: Evidence from the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
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Abstract

The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) of 1972 extended civil rights coverage to employers with 15-24 employees, while leaving unaffected the civil rights protection for employees of larger firms. In conjunction with pre-existing state fair employment practice (FEP) laws, the EEOA provides a "natural experiment" in which the treatment and control groups are defined by differences across industries in the fraction of workers employed in the newly covered establishments and across states in the scope of the FEP laws. Applying the treatment and control group methodology to Current Population Survey data, the author finds that there were large shifts in the employment and pay practices of the industries most affected by the amendment. The timing of the relative gains and their concentration by industry and region provide evidence that the EEOA had a positive impact on the labor market status of African-Americans.

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