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Skin Shade Stratification and the Psychological Cost of Unemployment: Is there a Gradient for Black Females?

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  • Timothy Diette

    ()

  • Arthur Goldsmith

    ()

  • Darrick Hamilton

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  • William Darity

    ()

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to formally evaluate whether the deleterious impact of unemployment on mental health increases as skin shade darkens for black women in the U.S. Using data drawn from the National Survey of American Life, we find strong evidence of a gradient on depression between skin shade and unemployment for black women. These findings are consistent with the premises of the emerging field of stratification economics. Moreover, the findings are robust to various definitions of skin shade. Unemployed black women with darker complexions are significantly more likely to suffer their first onset of depression than unemployed black females with lighter skin shade. While in some cases, lighter skinned black women appeared not to suffer adverse effects of unemployment compared to their employed counterparts, persons with dark complexions did not enjoy the same degree of protection from poor mental health. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Diette & Arthur Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, 2015. "Skin Shade Stratification and the Psychological Cost of Unemployment: Is there a Gradient for Black Females?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 155-177, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:42:y:2015:i:1:p:155-177
    DOI: 10.1007/s12114-014-9192-z
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12114-014-9192-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "Ugly Criminals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 15-30, February.
    2. Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, 2010. "Can ‘Baby Bonds’ Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap in Putative Post-Racial America?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 207-216, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Borrell, Luisa N. & Kiefe, Catarina I. & Williams, David R. & Diez-Roux, Ana V. & Gordon-Larsen, Penny, 2006. "Self-reported health, perceived racial discrimination, and skin color in African Americans in the CARDIA study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1415-1427, September.
    5. Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens & Mateusz Filipski, 2009. "Why Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 122-127, May.
    6. N. Chiteji & Darrick Hamilton, 2002. "Family connections and the black-white wealth gap among middle-class families," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 9-28, June.
    7. Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2013. "Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 731-753.
    8. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, Jr, 2007. "From Dark to Light: Skin Color and Wages Among African-Americans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
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    1. repec:spr:blkpoe:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12114-017-9249-x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stratification economics; Skin tone; Phenotype; Unemployment; Mental health; Depression; Z13; I1; J64; J15;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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