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Testing for Employee Discrimination Using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence

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Author Info

  • Frijters, Paul

    ()
    (University of Queensland)

  • Shields, Michael A.

    ()
    (Monash University)

  • Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos

    ()
    (University of Cyprus)

  • Wheatley Price, Stephen

    ()
    (University of Leicester)

Abstract

In this paper, we directly test Becker’s theory of employee discrimination using matched worker-workplace data from Britain. Based on a structural model with individual and firm heterogeneity, we develop and test two predictions. Firstly, if white employees have a taste for discrimination they should report lower levels of job satisfaction the larger the proportion of ethnic minorities at their workplace. Secondly, white employees’ wages should also increase with the concentration of ethnic minority co-workers. Both hypotheses are strongly supported for white males in our data, after controlling for human capital and job amenity variables, though not for females. The white male wage premium for working amongst only ethnic minority co-workers, as compared to working only with whites, is about 12%. Neither of these effects operate via realised racial prejudice at the workplace or employees’ feelings concerning job security.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 807.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp807

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Keywords: employee discrimination; compensating differentials; structural estimation; wages; job satisfaction;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2004. "To Teach or Not to Teach? Panel Data Evidence on the Quitting Decision," IZA Discussion Papers 1164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kodama, Naomi & Odaki, Kazuhiko, 2013. "Employee Discrimination against Female Executives," CIS Discussion paper series 611, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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