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Education and Labor Market Discrimination

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  • Kevin Lang
  • Michael Manove

Abstract

Using a model of statistical discrimination and educational sorting, we explain why blacks get more education than whites of similar cognitive ability, and we explore how the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), wages, and education are related. The model suggests that one should control for both AFQT and education when comparing the earnings of blacks and whites, in which case a substantial black-white wage differential emerges. We reject the hypothesis that differences in school quality between blacks and whites explain the wage and education differentials. Our findings support the view that some of the black-white wage differential reflects the operation of the labor market. (JEL I21, J15, J24, J31, J71)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1467-96

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:4:p:1467-96

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, . "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," IPR working papers 97-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  2. Michael A. Stoll & Steven Raphael & Harry J. Holzer, 2004. "Black job applicants and the hiring officer's race," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 267-287, January.
  3. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
  4. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Aurel Hizmo, 2010. "Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 76-104, October.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  7. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200, February.
  8. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
  9. Steven G. Rivkin, 1995. "Black/White Differences in Schooling and Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 826-852.
  10. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  11. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  12. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  13. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
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