Lukas Althoff wins research award for project studying Black economic progress after slavery

April 12, 2022

Lukas Althoff, Economics PhD candidate in the Industrial Relations Section, has been named a 2021 IPUMS research award winner for his project with coauthor Hugo Reichardt (PhD candidate, London School of Economics): The Geography of Black Economic Progress After Slavery.

“I am really excited that our paper has been selected for the award,” said Althoff. “Working on this project has been so rewarding — from constantly learning more about American history to working with an amazing co-author to discussing our work with people inside and outside the field of economics. I’m grateful for any potential for additional feedback, new conversations, and future improvements to the paper that may result from this award.”

The IPUMS website summarizes the project as follows:

“Althoff and Reichardt construct family histories using full-count census data from 1950 to 1940 to compare Black men descended from enslaved persons freed at Emancipation in 1865 to those whose ancestors were free prior to 1865. They find large gaps in education, income, occupational status, homeownership, and home value that persist through 1940. The gaps shrink substantially when controlling for place, which the authors argue provides evidence for location-specific “policies, institutions, or racial attitudes” in slave-holding areas that continued to hinder Black economic progress long after Emancipation.”

The annual competition honors "...the best research using IPUMS data to advance or deepen our understanding of social and demographic processes. We are looking for papers that use innovative approaches, comparative analyses, and showcase the power of the IPUMS data collections.”

Congratulations to Lukas!