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Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages

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  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr
  • Devah Pager
  • Jörg L. Spenkuch

Abstract

The extent to which discrimination can explain racial wage gaps is one of the most divisive subjects in the social sciences. Using a newly available dataset, this paper develops a simple empirical test which, under plausible conditions, provides a lower bound on the extent of discrimination in the labor market. Taken at face value, our estimates imply that differential treatment accounts for at least one third of the black-white wage gap. We argue that the patterns in our data are consistent with a search-matching model in which employers statistically discriminate on the basis of race when hiring unemployed workers, but learn about their marginal product over time. However, we cannot rule out other forms of discrimination.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17462.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Publication status: published as Roland G. Fryer , Jr. & Devah Pager & J�rg L. Spenkuch, 2013. "Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 633 - 689.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17462

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Cited by:
  1. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-06, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  2. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2012. "Are Wage Premiums for Black Women Illusory? A Critical Examination," Working Papers 120, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  3. Wozniak, Abigail, 2012. "Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 6605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Winters, John V. & Hirsch, Barry, 2012. "An Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 6766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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