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Labor market dropouts and trends in the wages of black and white men

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  • Chinhui Juhn
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    Abstract

    There is continuing debate over whether and to what degree estimations of black-white wage convergence are biased because they leave labor market dropouts out of the picture. If a high proportion of blacks become discouraged and cease searching for jobs, and if those dropouts have, on average, poor job prospects, the average wage of black workers who remain in the labor market will be an upwardly biased estimate of the average wage across the population. This paper introduces a simple method of imputing wages to non-workers. When non-workers are accounted for in the calculations, real wage growth for prime age black men over the 1969-98 period is reduced approximately 40%, and black-white wage convergence is reduced by approximately one-third. The author finds that a source of bias as important as falling employment rates is the growing gap between wages of workers and potential wages of non-workers. (Author's abstract.) (Free full-text download available at http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 643-662

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:56:y:2003:i:4:p:643-662

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    Cited by:
    1. Xavier D'Haultfoeuille & Arnaud Maurel & Yichong Zhang, 2014. "Extremal Quantile Regressions for Selection Models and the Black-White Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 20257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Stevans, Lonnie, 2007. "The Relationship Among African American Male Earnings, Employment, Incarceration and Immigration: A Time Series Approach," MPRA Paper 5594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Olivetti, Claudia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2006. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," CEPR Discussion Papers 5506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Working Papers 2011-037, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Richard Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2008. "Using Internal Current Population Survey Data to Reevaluate Trends in Labor Earnings Gaps by Gender, Race, and Education Level," Working Papers 08-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Lonnie Stevans, 2009. "The Relationship Among African American Male Earnings, Employment, Incarceration and Immigration in the United States: A Time Series Approach," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 151-160, December.
    8. Harry J. Holzer & Paul Offner & Elaine Sorensen, 2005. "Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 329-350.

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