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The Human Capital Approach to Black-White Earnings Inequality: Some Unsettled Questions

  • William A. Darity Jr.

The persistence of earnings differences between blacks and whites in the United States has been a topic that has received a substantial amount of attention in both theoretical and empirical research in economics. The differential in earnings typically is tied to racial differences in human capital accumulation. This paper advances a systematic critique of the human capital approach to black-white inequality. Inadequacies are identified in human capital theory as a general theory of inequality as well as a specific theory of racial inequality. The critique suggests that a serious analysis of the black-white earnings gap will require an entirely new approach to the study of racial income inequality.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 17 (1982)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 72-93

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:17:y:1982:i:1:p:72-93
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