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Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Devah Pager & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2013. "Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 633-689.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/673323
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2012. "Are Wage Premiums for Black Women Illusory? A Critical Examination," Working Papers 120, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    2. Abigail Wozniak, 2015. "Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 548-566, July.
    3. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2014. "The Importance of Cost of Living and Education in Estimates of the Conditional Wage Gap Between Black and White Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 695-722.
    4. Nunley John M. & Pugh Adam & Romero Nicholas & Seals R. Alan, 2015. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 1093-1125, July.
    5. Bruno Decreuse & Linas Tarasonis, 2016. "Statistical Discrimination in a Search Equilibrium Model: Racial Wage and Employment Disparities in the US," Working Papers halshs-01327961, HAL.
    6. Neli Demireva & Anthony Heath, 2017. "Minority Embeddedness and Economic Integration: Is Diversity or Homogeneity Associated with Better Employment Outcomes?," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 5(1), pages 20-31.
    7. Bond, Timothy N. & Lehmann, Jee-Yeon K., 2015. "Prejudice and Racial Matches in Employment," MPRA Paper 67494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Lily Hu & Yiling Chen, 2017. "A Short-term Intervention for Long-term Fairness in the Labor Market," Papers 1712.00064, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2018.
    9. Catherine Ris, 2013. "Les inégalités ethniques dans l'accès à l'emploi en Nouvelle-Calédonie," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 464(1), pages 59-72.
    10. Winters, John V. & Hirsch, Barry, 2012. "An Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 6766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Hengel, E., 2017. "Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1753, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    12. William Darity, 2013. "Confronting those affirmative action grumbles," Chapters,in: Capitalism on Trial, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-06, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    14. Selim Jahan, 2017. "Human Development Report 2016 - Human Development for Everyone," Working Papers id:12021, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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