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Challenge

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between African American local political power and outcomes for African American-owned businesses. It is hypothesized that the presence of an African American mayor and majority in the City Council would indicate a context of greater political power that would facilitate African American-owned business growth. Using regression analysis, we test the impact of local political representation on the number of businesses and sales volume. Our results show that cities with African American mayors have been more conducive than other cities to African American economic development both with regard to the numbers and sales activity. However, concentration of African American political power beyond fifty percent of City Council seats has diminishing returns.

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