Location of WWII internment camp linked to long-term economic inequality

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 13:02 in Psychology & Sociology

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 drew the United States into World War II and spawned a massive wave of shock and fear across the country. It also prompted the U.S. government to round up and send more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps. Scholars have long studied this dark chapter in American history and its denial of basic freedoms, but until recently little was known about the long-term economic effects on the lives of the people who were interned, their businesses, homes, and possessions hastily left behind. Harvard economist Daniel Shoag and Nicholas Carollo, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, who wrote the paper “The Causal Effect of Place: Evidence from Japanese-American Internment,” found that the economic consequences of confinement lingered among internees even 50 years later, and varied greatly on where they were placed. Between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese-Americans, 70 percent of them born...

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