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The Impact of Racial Discrimination on the Early Career Outcomes of Young Men


  • Francesco Renna


  • Randall King


The NLSY dataset is utilized to measure the extent of employer wage discrimination between white and black males during their first 5 years of post-school employment. We look at the respondent’s first job and the jobs 1 and 5 years after school completion. Oaxaca wage decompositions are employed to gauge the effect of discrimination. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that the discrimination component of the wage gap falls over time. For the first job out of school the unexplained wage gap between blacks and whites is 35%. By year 5, the unexplained component falls to about 13%. Thus, while discrimination continues to play a role in explaining the white–black wage gap over time, its impact decreases as time in the labor market increases. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Renna & Randall King, 2007. "The Impact of Racial Discrimination on the Early Career Outcomes of Young Men," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 269-278, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:35:y:2007:i:3:p:269-278
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-007-9070-1

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    More about this item


    Early career outcomes; Discrimination; Wage gap; J15; J31; J71;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing


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