IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Persistent Advantage or Disadvantage?: Evidence in Support of the Intergenerational Drag Hypothesis


  • William Darity

    (University of North Carolina,)

  • Jason Dietrich
  • David K. Guilkey


By utilizing the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) and a measure of occupational prestige (OCCSCORE) as a labor market outcome, the authors examine variations in the degree of labor market discrimination faced by several ethnic and racial groups in the United States between 1880 and 1990. Results demonstrate that the sharpest decline in labor market discrimination against blacks occurred between 1960 and 1980. For black males the extent of labor market discrimination was greater in all census years in IPUMS after 1880 until 1970, evidence contradicting the conventional expectation that market-based discrimination will decline progressively over time by dint of competitive pressure. Finally, after replicating George Borjas' "ethnic capital" exercise, the authors pool the 1880, 1900, and 1910 data to determine the relative magnitude of a group's gains and losses in occupational prestige due to group advantage or disadvantage in human capital endowments and due to favorable or unfavorable treatment (nepotism or discrimination) of those endowments in the labor market. The authors then examine statistically whether the group human capital advantage or disadvantage and group exposure to nepotism or discrimination at the turn of the century affects labor market outcomes for their descendants today. Results indicate strong effects of the past on present labor market outcomes. Hence, the essence of the study is the statistical demonstration that there are significant and detectable effects on current generations of the labor market experiences of their racial/ethnic ancestors. Copyright 2001 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Suggested Citation

  • William Darity & Jason Dietrich & David K. Guilkey, 2001. "Persistent Advantage or Disadvantage?: Evidence in Support of the Intergenerational Drag Hypothesis," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 435-470, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:60:y:2001:i:2:p:435-470

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bruce Sacerdote, 2005. "Slavery and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 217-234, May.
    2. William Darity Jr & Dania Frank, 2003. "The Economics of Reparations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 326-329, May.
    3. William Darity, Jr. & Ashwini Deshpande & Thomas Weisskopf, 2011. "Who Is Eligible? Should Affirmative Action be Group‐ or Class‐Based?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 238-268, January.
    4. William Darity, 2008. "Forty Acres and a Mule in the 21st Century," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(3), pages 656-664.
    5. Grossbard, Shoshana & Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto, 2010. "Racial Discrimination and Household Chores," IZA Discussion Papers 5345, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Siddiqi, Arjumand & Jones, Marcella K. & Bruce, Donald J. & Erwin, Paul C., 2016. "Do racial inequities in infant mortality correspond to variations in societal conditions? A study of state-level income inequality in the U.S., 1992–2007," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 49-58.
    7. Cruz Bueno, 2015. "Stratification Economics and Grassroots Development: The Case of Low–Income Black Women Workers in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 35-55, June.
    8. Phillip O’Hara, 2004. "A new family-community social structure," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 51-80, March.
    9. Moss, Laurence, 2008. "A comment on economics and sociology," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 9(3), pages 25-26.
    10. Meerman, Jacob, 2005. "Oppressed people: Economic mobility of the socially excluded," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 542-567, August.
    11. Bogan, Vicki & Darity Jr., William, 2008. "Culture and entrepreneurship? African American and immigrant self-employment in the United States," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1999-2019, October.
    12. William Darity, 2004. "The wellspring of racial inequality," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 61-68, December.
    13. Hamilton, Darrick & Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Darity Jr., William, 2009. "Shedding "light" on marriage: The influence of skin shade on marriage for black females," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 30-50, October.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:60:y:2001:i:2:p:435-470. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.