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Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers

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Author Info

  • Kevin Lang

    ()
    (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)

  • Michael Manove

    ()
    (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)

  • William T. Dickens

    ()
    (The Brookings Institution)

Abstract

We analyze race discrimination in labor markets in which wage offers are posted. If employers with job vacancies receive multiple applicants, they choose the most qualified but may choose arbitrarily among equally qualified applicants. In the model, firms post wages, workers choose where to apply, and firms decide which workers to hire. Labor-market frictions greatly amplify racial disparities, so mild discriminatory tastes or small productivity differences can produce large wage differentials between the races. Compared with the nondiscriminatory equilibrium, the discriminatory equilibrium features lower net output, lower wages for both white and black workers and greater profits for firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series with number dp-145.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-145

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  1. Shi, Shouyong, 2006. "Wage differentials, discrimination and efficiency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 849-875, May.
  2. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  3. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium ," Working papers 581, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-79, February.
  6. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1327-1340, September.
  7. Moen, Espen R, 2002. "Do Good Workers Hurt Bad Workers - or is it the Other Way Around?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Lang, Kevin, 1991. "Persistent Wage Dispersion and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 181-202, February.
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