The Crimefighting Power Of Brown

Ray Fisman dives into research on the effects of Brown v. Board of Education:

A growing body of social science research is now reaching the conclusion that school desegregation should get some direct credit for the drop in black crime. Indeed, as courts have begun overturning these rulings over the past decade, we’ve seen an alarming uptick in crimes by young black men. It turns out that integrating schools wasn’t just a matter of turning them into melting pots or providing equal access to education. It was also an effective way of fighting inner-city crime. …

Berkeley economist Rucker Johnson’s looked at the longer-run effects of desegregation on children of the civil rights era, using a range of methodologies, each of which generates the same set of findings: Desegregation led to higher earnings, better health, and a better chance of staying out of prison for black males. Johnson’s findings on crime echo the results of earlier research, which found that desegregation reduced violent crimes by young (15-24) black men by as much as one-third.