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Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages

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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
    DOI: 10.1086/673323
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    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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