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Speech Patterns and Racial Wage Inequality

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  • Jeffrey Grogger

Abstract

Speech patterns differ substantially between whites and African Americans. I collect and analyze data on speech patterns to understand the role they may play in explaining racial wage differences. Among blacks, speech patterns are highly correlated with measures of skill such as schooling and ASVAB scores. They are also highly correlated with the wages of young workers. Black speakers whose voices were distinctly identified as black by anonymous listeners earn about 10 percent less than whites with similar observable skills. Indistinctly identified blacks earn about 2 percent less than 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 0813.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0813

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Keywords: speech patterns; wage; inequality; race;

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Cited by:
  1. Hedegaard, Morten & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2014. "The Price of Prejudice," CEPR Discussion Papers 9953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich & Alfred Lameli & Jens Suedekum, 2010. "Dialects, Cultural Identity, and Economic Exchange," CESifo Working Paper Series 2961, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Why are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile Across Regions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3938, CESifo Group Munich.

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