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Fear and Lathing in the Michigan Furniture Industry: Employee-Based Discrimination a Century Ago

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  • Buffum, David
  • Whaples, Robert

Abstract

The authors analyze employee-based discrimination using historical data on workers' attributes from Michigan's furniture industry. The data provide compelling evidence of employee-based discrimination in the form of a compensating wage differential. A one percentage point decrease in the share of the work force from the worker's own ethnic group increased the wage about 0.1 percent. This response was larger in small firms, in small towns, and among certain ethnic groups. Protestants were generally paid more to work with Catholics. The additional labor costs generated by employee-based discrimination were probably offset by several benefits that rendered complete segregation unnecessary. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Buffum, David & Whaples, Robert, 1995. "Fear and Lathing in the Michigan Furniture Industry: Employee-Based Discrimination a Century Ago," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 234-252, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:2:p:234-52
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Gagliarducci & M. Daniele Paserman, 2012. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1021-1052.
    2. Kodama, Naomi & Odaki, Kazuhiko, 2013. "Employee Discrimination against Female Executives," CIS Discussion paper series 611, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2006. "Testing for Employee Discrimination in Britain using Matched Employer-Employee Data," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 8-2006, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.

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