The Role of Region-Specific Institutionalized Cultural Characteristics on Income Inequality in the American South: The Case of Georgia’s Plantation Belt

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1996

Publication Title

Review of Regional Studies




The Role Of Region-Specific Institutionalized Cultural Characteristics On Income Inequality In The American South: The Case Of Georgia'S Plantation Belt Abstract: Numerous studies have attempted to determine which factors affect income inequality in a given region. These factors relate to the demographic, economic, educational, and labor force characteristics of the region. One factor that has largely been ignored in the previous literature, however, is the effect of long-established, region-specific institutionalized social and cultural characteristics. By estimating the effect of a county's location in Georgia's Plantation Belt, a region whose historical and economic development differs substantially from the rest of the state, this paper addresses the role that these institutionalized cultural characteristics play in the determination of income inequality in the state of Georgia. The results indicate that while demographic, economic, educational, and labor force characteristics significantly affect income inequality in Georgia, income inequality is greatest in the Plantation Belt counties. In addition, the racial composition of a county has a much weaker effect on income inequality in Plantation Belt counties than in those counties located outside the Plantation Belt.


Copyright Southern Regional Science Association 1996