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Table 8 presents the results from regressions that interact the WWII variable with the indicator variable for being black. The analysis is done separately for southern and non-southern states. The results show that black men have a significantly lower probability of high school completion and employment, higher probability of poverty, and work for fewer weeks as compared to white men. The impacts of the bill on high school completion and poverty are larger in magnitude for the southern states. The interaction term of the WWII variable and the indicator for black race is not statistically significant for any of the outcomes in both southern and non-southern states. Thus, the WWII GI Bill had similar effects across race (black and white) for the outcomes of high school completion, poverty, and employment.

Table 8. 
Comparing the Effects of the WWII GI Bill on Black Men and White Men
Time Window: 1923—1932
High SchoolBelow PovertyEmployed LastWeeks Worked
Dependent VariableCompletionLineYearLast Year
Panel A: Southern States 
Explanatory variables     
Black −0.221*** 0.129*** −0.0448*** −4.028*** 
 (0.00821) (0.00532) (0.00321) (0.193) 
WWII 0.176*** −0.0531** 0.0308* 1.909* 
 (0.0362) (0.0236) (0.0164) (0.977) 
Black*WWII 0.00997 0.00139 −0.00137 0.289 
 (0.0163) (0.0114) (0.00712) (0.427) 
R2 0.057 0.033 0.010 0.018 
N 99,123 99,123 99,123 99,123 
Panel B: Non-Southern States 
Explanatory variables     
Black −0.184*** 0.0653*** −0.0743*** −5.281*** 
 (0.0109) (0.00690) (0.00626) (0.367) 
WWII 0.0959*** −0.0294** 0.0264*** 1.960*** 
 (0.0294) (0.0143) (0.00980) (0.636) 
Black*WWII −0.0304 −0.00645 0.0124 0.600 
 (0.0189) (0.0118) (0.0113) (0.626) 
R2 0.022 0.008 0.007 0.010 
N 189,687 189,687 189,687 189,687 
Time Window: 1923—1932
High SchoolBelow PovertyEmployed LastWeeks Worked
Dependent VariableCompletionLineYearLast Year
Panel A: Southern States 
Explanatory variables     
Black −0.221*** 0.129*** −0.0448*** −4.028*** 
 (0.00821) (0.00532) (0.00321) (0.193) 
WWII 0.176*** −0.0531** 0.0308* 1.909* 
 (0.0362) (0.0236) (0.0164) (0.977) 
Black*WWII 0.00997 0.00139 −0.00137 0.289 
 (0.0163) (0.0114) (0.00712) (0.427) 
R2 0.057 0.033 0.010 0.018 
N 99,123 99,123 99,123 99,123 
Panel B: Non-Southern States 
Explanatory variables     
Black −0.184*** 0.0653*** −0.0743*** −5.281*** 
 (0.0109) (0.00690) (0.00626) (0.367) 
WWII 0.0959*** −0.0294** 0.0264*** 1.960*** 
 (0.0294) (0.0143) (0.00980) (0.636) 
Black*WWII −0.0304 −0.00645 0.0124 0.600 
 (0.0189) (0.0118) (0.0113) (0.626) 
R2 0.022 0.008 0.007 0.010 
N 189,687 189,687 189,687 189,687 

Notes: The table shows the differential effect of the WWII GI Bill on high school completion, poverty, and employment for black and white men. The analysis is done separately for southern and non-southern states. The regressions interact the WWII variable with the dummy variable for being black. The independent variables of interest are the fraction of men who participated in WWII and the interaction of this variable with the dummy variable for being black. The dependent variables are dummy = 1 for high school completion, dummy = 1 for family living under poverty line, dummy = 1 if worked positive number of weeks last year and number of weeks worked last year. The sample consists of black and white men born in the United States between 1923 and 1932, the preferred time window. WWII is the fraction of men who participated in World War II in a birth year-quarter by state of birth cell. Standard errors are corrected for heteroskedasticity and are clustered at the level of birth year-quarter-state of birth. Controls include “Korea” which is defined as the fraction of men who participated in the Korean War or at “any other time” but did not participate in WWII, in a birth year-quarter by state of birth cell, trend which is defined as (birth year − 1929 + [birth quarter/4]), trend squared, “Korea” interacted with trend variables, state of birth dummies, and their interactions with trend variables.

*Significant at the 10% level; **significant at the 5% level; ***significant at the 1% level.

Source: 1970 Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (see Ruggles et al. 2010).

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