This study examines the impact of political empowerment on employment opportunities in the private sector for African Americans. It is hypothesized that African Americans’ success in capturing local elective office leads to an increase in their employment in the private sector; therefore the biracial (Black-White) differences in employment allocation in the private work force should tend to decrease. The research employs multivariate regressions to evaluate five explanations for biracial dissimilarity in employment in 240 primary metropolitan statistical areas. The findings reveal that the effects of empowerment are considerably less of an influence than expected on improving African Americans’ employment. Viewed in this light, African Americans have been overly optimistic about how political power can improve economic conditions.
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