Has Education Paid Off for Black Workers?
AbstractOver the past three decades, the “human capital” of the employed black workforce has increased enormously. In 1979, only one-in-ten (10.4 percent) black workers had a four-year college degree or more. By 2011, more than one in four (26.2 percent) had a college education or more. Over the same period, the share of black workers with less than a high school degree fell from almost one-third (31.6 percent) to only about one in 20 (5.3 percent). The black workforce has also grown considerably older. In 1979, the median employed black worker was 33 years old; today, the median is 39. Economists expect that increases in education and work experience will increase workers' productivity and translate into higher compensation. But, the share of black workers in a “good job” – one that pays at least $19 per hour (in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars), has employer-provided health insurance, and an employer-sponsored retirement plan – has actually declined. This paper looks at this trend and policies that would have a large, positive impact on the quality of jobs for black workers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in its series CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs with number 2013-11.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
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black workers; good jobs; retirement; pensions; health insurance; wages; labor; education; bad jobs; gender; pay equity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J - Labor and Demographic Economics
- J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
- J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
- J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- I - Health, Education, and Welfare
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
- I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-08-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-08-05 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2013-08-05 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2013-08-05 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2013-08-05 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2013-08-05 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dean Baker, 2006. "Universal Voluntary Accounts: A Step Towards Fixing the Retirement System," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2006-30, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
- Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2003.
"The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names,"
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9938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.
- Pager, Devah & Western, Bruce & Bonikowski, Bart, 2009. "Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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