Lisa D. Cook
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Guides to Research on Lynchings

Data on lynchings have increasingly been employed in economics research. Historical lynching data sets are difficult to use due to measurement error, particularly with respect to the race or ethnicity of the victim. This paper summarizes recent researchers’ efforts to correct and extend data related to race and ethnicity of lynching victims, especially with respect to unpacking the “white” category. A systematic examination of the revised data reveals that historical data sets overestimate the share of whites among lynching victims and underestimate the share of Chinese, Hispanic, and Native American victims by nearly 50 percent.

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