IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Do Small Establishments Hire Fewer Blacks Than Large Ones?


  • Harry J. Holzer


This paper shows that small establishments are much less likely to hire and employ blacks than are larger establishments. A number of possible explanations for this result are considered, such as differences across establishments in application rates from blacks, skill needs, locations, and recruiting behavior. Although these factors can account for some of the observed differences in race of new hires between small and large establishments, much remains unexplained. The results suggest that discrimination in hiring may be much more pervasive at smaller establishments than larger ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry J. Holzer, 1998. "Why Do Small Establishments Hire Fewer Blacks Than Large Ones?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 896-914.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:33:y:1998:i:4:p:896-914

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Population programs: Measuring their impact on fertility and the personal distribution of their effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 113-139, April.
    2. Elizabeth Stephen & Ronald Rindfuss & Frank Bean, 1988. "Racial differences in contraceptive choice: Complexity and implications," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(1), pages 53-70, February.
    3. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1979:69:7:661-666_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:9:1468-1472_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Assessing Family Palnning Cost-Effectiveness: Applicability Of Individual Demand-Program Supply Framework," Papers 615, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    7. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
    8. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
    9. Joshua D. Angrist, 1991. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Average Treatment Effects in Econometrics and Epidemiology," NBER Technical Working Papers 0115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2008. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 459-477, August.
    2. Olivier Baguelin, 2005. "Understanding socio-demographic disparities in the labor market : the case for a motivation-based theory," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v05064, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    3. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2000. "What Does Affirmative Action Do?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 240-271, January.
    4. David Neumark, 2016. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2007. "A market test for sex discrimination: Evidence from Japanese firm-level panel data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 441-460, June.
    6. Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Environmental Abatement Costs and Establishment Size," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(3), pages 281-296, July.
    7. Harris Selod & Yves Zenou, 2006. "City Structure, Job Search and Labour Discrimination: Theory and Policy Implications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 1057-1087, October.
    8. Judith K. Hellerstein & Melissa McInerney & David Neumark, 2011. "Neighbors and Coworkers: The Importance of Residential Labor Market Networks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 659-695.
    9. Michael Lucht & Anette Haas, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Substitution by Tasks: the Productivity Effect of Migrants," ERSA conference papers ersa12p894, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Pierre Picard & Yves Zenou, 2014. "Urban Spatial Structure, Employement and Social Ties," CREA Discussion Paper Series 14-31, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    11. Harry J. Holzer & Michael A. Stoll, 2003. "Employer Demand for Welfare Recipients by Race," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 210-241, January.
    12. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Employer Demand for Welfare Recipients and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Recent Employer Surveys," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1185-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    13. Anette Haas & Michael Lucht & Norbert Schanne, 2012. "Why to employ both migrants and natives? A study on task-specific substitutability," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012026, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    14. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:152-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Gizem Akar & Binnur Balkan & Semih Tümen, 2013. "Overview of Firm-Size and Gender Pay Gaps in Turkey: The Role of Informal Employment," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-21, September.
    16. Holzer, Harry J. & Reaser, Jess, 2000. "Black Applicants, Black Employees, and Urban Labor Market Policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 365-387, November.
    17. Michael A. Stoll & Steven Raphael & Harry J. Holzer, 2001. "Why Are Black Employers More Likely to Hire African Americans than White Employers?," JCPR Working Papers 228, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    18. Fidan Ana Kurtulus, 2015. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on the Employment of Minorities and Women over Three Decades: 1973-2003," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-221, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    19. Picard, Pierre M. & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Urban Spatial Structure, Employment and Social Ties: European versus American Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 9166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Why do Black Workers Search Less? A Transport-Mode Based Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 6155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:33:y:1998:i:4:p:896-914. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.