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Speech Patterns and Racial Wage Inequality

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  • Jeffrey Grogger

Abstract

Speech patterns differ substantially between whites and many African Americans. I collect and analyze speech data to understand the role that speech may play in explaining racial wage differences. Among blacks, speech patterns are highly correlated with measures of skill such as schooling and AFQT scores. They are also highly correlated with the wages of young workers. Even after controlling for measures of skill and family background, black speakers whose voices were distinctly identified as black by anonymous listeners earn about 12 percent less than whites with similar observable skills. Indistinctly identified blacks earn essentially the same as comparable whites. I discuss a number of models that may be consistent with these results and describe the data that one would need to distinguish among them.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/46/1/1
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-25

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2011:i:1:p:1-25

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Südekum, Jens, 2012. "Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 225-239.
  2. Hedegaard, Morten & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2014. "The Price of Prejudice," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens & Lameli, Alfred, 2014. "Why are educated and risk-loving persons more mobile across regions?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 56-69.

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