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Cycles of Wage Discrimination

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  • Jeff Biddle
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

Using CPS data from 1979-2009 we examine how cyclical downturns and industry-specific demand shocks affect wage differentials between white non-Hispanic males and women, Hispanics and African-Americans. Women’s and Hispanics’ relative earnings are harmed by negative shocks, while the earnings disadvantage of African-Americans may drop with negative shocks. Negative shocks also appear to increase the earnings disadvantage of bad-looking workers. A theory of job search suggests two opposite-signed mechanisms that affect these wage differentials. It suggests greater absolute effects among job-movers, which is verified using the longitudinal component of the CPS.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17326.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as "Wage discrimination over the business cycle." Jeff E Biddle and Daniel S Hamermesh. Journal of Labor Policy, 2013 2:7
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17326

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  1. Black, Dan A, 1995. "Discrimination in an Equilibrium Search Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 309-33, April.
  2. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1995. "Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," NBER Working Papers 5366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Le Wang, 2013. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Measurement and Analysis," Emory Economics, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) 1305, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).

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