Oberlin College and Conservatory

Minority Representation in Local Government and Distributional Outcomes

Friday, October 5, 2018 at 12:00pm

King Building, 237
10 North Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

"Minority Representation in Local Government and Distributional Outcomes," will be presented by Brian Beach, assistant professor of economics and public policy at the College of William and Mary.

The underrepresentation of minorities in the legislative process remains a salient issue, but does it affect minority outcomes? We construct a unique dataset identifying the ethnicity of over 3,500 California city council candidates and examine close elections between white and nonwhite candidates.

Using housing prices as a proxy for welfare, we find that narrowly elected nonwhite candidates generate differential gains in housing prices in majority nonwhite neighborhoods.

This result, which is not explained by correlations between race and political affiliation or race and income, suggests that increased legislative representation may help reduce racial disparities.

Sponsored by the Department of Econoomics Danforth-Lewis Speakers Series.


Event Type



Academic, Economics



Contact Person

Terri Pleska, Admin Ass't

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