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Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages

  • Roland G. Fryer , Jr.
  • Devah Pager
  • J�rg 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.

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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

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/673323
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