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Racial discrimination in the U.S. labor market: Employment and wage differentials by skill

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  • Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel
  • Bradley, Jake
  • Tarasonis, Linas

Abstract

In the U.S. the average black worker has a lower employment rate and earns a lower wage compared to his white counterpart. Lang and Lehmann (2012) argue that black–white wage and employment gaps are smaller for high-skill workers. We show that a model combining employer taste-based discrimination, search frictions and skill complementarities can replicate these regularities, and estimate it using data from the U.S. manufacturing sector. We find that discrimination is quantitatively important to understand differences in wages and job finding rates across workers with low education levels, whereas skill differences are the main driver of those differences among workers with high education levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel & Bradley, Jake & Tarasonis, Linas, 2017. "Racial discrimination in the U.S. labor market: Employment and wage differentials by skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 106-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:106-127
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2017.09.007
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Labor Market: Employment and Wage Differentials by Skill
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2014-05-28 18:29:47

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    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Bobba & Luca Flabbi & Santiago Levy & Mauricio Tejada, 2019. "Labor Market Search, Informality, and On-The-Job Human Capital Accumulation," ILADES-UAH Working Papers inv326, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Business.
    2. Bustelo, Monserrat & Flabbi, Luca & Piras, Claudia & Tejada, Mauricio, 2019. "Female Labor Force Participation, Labor Market Dynamic and Growth in LAC," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9420, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Bobba, Matteo & Flabbi, Luca & Levy Algazi, Santiago, 2017. "Labor Market Search, Informality and Schooling Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 11170, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Melitz, Jacques & Toubal, Farid, 2018. "Somatic distance, cultural affinities, trust and trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 12895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Bruno Decreuse & Linas Tarasonis, 2016. "Statistical Discrimination in a Search Equilibrium Model: Racial Wage and Employment Disparities in the US," Working Papers halshs-01327961, HAL.
    6. Almarina Gramozi & Theodore Palivos & Marios Zachariadis, 2020. "On the Degree and Consequences of Talent Misallocation for the United States," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 09-2020, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    7. Kuhelika De & Ryan A. Compton & Daniel C. Giedeman & Gary A. Hoover, 2019. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Racial Labour Market Differences in the U.S," CESifo Working Paper Series 8004, CESifo.
    8. Jacques Melitz & Farid Toubal, 2019. "Somatic distance, trust and trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 786-802, August.
    9. Moradi, Pegah, 2019. "Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Work," SocArXiv e37cu, Center for Open Science.
    10. Bruno Decreuse & Linas Tarasonis, 2016. "Statistical Discrimination in a Search Equilibrium Model: Racial Wage and Employment Disparities in the US," Working Papers halshs-01327961, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment and wage gaps; Discrimination; Job search; Sorting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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