IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages

  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr.
  • Devah Pager
  • Jörg L. Spenkuch

The extent to which discrimination can explain racial wage gaps is one of the most divisive issues in the social sciences. Using a newly available data set, this paper develops a simple empirical test that, under plausible (but not innocuous) conditions, provides a lower bound on the extent of discrimination in the labor market. Taken at face value, our estimates imply that differential treatment accounts for at least one-third of the black-white wage gap. We argue that the patterns in our data are most naturally rationalized through a search-matching model in which employers statistically discriminate on the basis of race when hiring unemployed workers but learn about their marginal product over time.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/673323
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/673323
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 56 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 633 - 689

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/673323
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Luojia Hu & Christopher Taber, 2007. "Displacement, Asymmetric Information, and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 07-136, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2011. "Studying Discrimination: Fundamental Challenges and Recent Progress," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 479-511, 09.
  3. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
  4. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
  5. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Aurel Hizmo, 2008. "Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," NBER Working Papers 13951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Patrick J. Bayer & Peter Arcidiacono & Aurel Hizmo, 2010. "Web Appendix: Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," Working Papers 10-52, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  8. Justin McCrary, 2007. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 318-353, March.
  9. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2011. "Racial Discrimination In The Labor Market: Theory And Empirics," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-019, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J & Masterov, Dimitriy V, 2005. "Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Premarket Factors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 1-39, April.
  11. Kevin Lang, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-382.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  13. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  14. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Working Papers 1295, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  15. Kenneth Y. Chay, 1998. "The Impact of Federal Civil Rights Policy on Black Economic Progress: Evidence from the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 608-632, July.
  16. Devah Pager, 2003. "The mark of a criminal record," Natural Field Experiments 00319, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. John A. List, 2004. "The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 49-89.
  18. Derek Neal, 2002. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap Among Women is Too Small," NBER Working Papers 9133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove, 2011. "Education and Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1467-96, June.
  20. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  21. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2008. "Prejudice and Wages: An Empirical Assessment of Becker's The Economics of Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 773-809, October.
  22. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-47, June.
  23. Oettinger, Gerald S, 1996. "Statistical Discrimination and the Early Career Evolution of the Black-White Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 52-78, January.
  24. Audra J. Bowlus & Zvi Eckstein, 1998. "Discrimination and Skill Differences in an Equilibrium Search Model," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9802, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  25. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
  26. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
  27. Black, Dan A, 1995. "Discrimination in an Equilibrium Search Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 309-33, April.
  28. Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-21, June.
  29. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "Racial Inequality in the 21st Century: The Declining Significance of Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 16256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. James J. Heckman & Brook S. Payner, 1989. "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 2854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  33. Dan Black & Natalia Kolesnikova & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2013. "The role of location in evaluating racial wage disparity," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, December.
  34. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1984. "Affirmative Action and Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 269-301, April.
  35. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  36. Francine D. Blau & Andrea H. Beller, 1991. "Black-White Earnings Over the 1970s and 1980s: Gender Differences in Trends," NBER Working Papers 3736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1984. "Employment and Occupational Advance under Affirmative Action," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 377-85, August.
  38. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1995. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," NBER Working Papers 5024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1992. "The Determinants of Black-White Differences in Early Employment Careers: Search, Layoffs, Quits, and Endogenous Wage Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 535-60, June.
  40. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
  41. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1990. "The Impact of Affirmative Action Regulation and Equal Employment Law on Black Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 47-63, Fall.
  42. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  43. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  44. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  45. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1984. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on Employment," NBER Working Papers 1310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Leslie S. Stratton, 1993. "Racial differences in men's unemployment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 451-463, April.
  47. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-40, December.
  48. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  49. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard vs. Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  51. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
  52. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  53. Pager, Devah & Western, Bruce & Bonikowski, Bart, 2009. "Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  54. Marc Bendick & Charles Jackson & Victor Reinoso, 1994. "Measuring employment discrimination through controlled experiments," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 25-48, June.
  55. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
  56. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
  57. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Estimating The Effect Of Racial Discrimination On First Job Wage Offers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 384-392, August.
  58. John F. Kain, 1968. "Housing Segregation, Negro Employment, and Metropolitan Decentralization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 175-197.
  59. Cornell, Bradford & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Culture, Information, and Screening Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 542-71, June.
  60. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Reservation Wages and Their Labor Market Effects for Black and White Male Youth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 157-177.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/673323. 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: (Journals Division)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.