The lower level of school quality available for blacks relative to whites in the segregated era is frequently cited as a primary cause for the currently observed gap in black-white average wages. The inferior education provided to black children is argued to have caused lower levels of human capital production in black schools than white schools The gap in black-white wages can be traced to this gap In human capital* Similarly, the convergence in black and white average wages during the 1960's and 1970's may be explained by the steady convergence in black and white school quality and attendance which began in the 1940's.
This paper was published in The American Economic Review, Vol. 77, No. 4 (Sep., 1987), pp 714-723
Orazem, Peter F., "Black-White Differences In Schooling Investment And Human Capital Production In Segregated Schools" (1987). Economic Staff Paper Series. 51.