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Wage Discrimination When Identity Is Subjective: Evidence from Changes in Employer-Reported Race

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  • Christopher Cornwell
  • Jason Rivera
  • Ian M. Schmutte

Abstract

In Brazil, different employers report different racial classifications for the same worker. We use the variation in race across employers to estimate the relationship between race and wages. Workers whose reported race changes from nonwhite to white receive a wage increase; those who change from white to nonwhite realize a symmetric wage decrease. As much as 40 percent of the racial wage gap remains after controlling for all individual characteristics that do not change across jobs. We formally test, and reject, the hypothesis that our results are driven by misclassification. We also evaluate several mechanisms that could explain our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Cornwell & Jason Rivera & Ian M. Schmutte, 2017. "Wage Discrimination When Identity Is Subjective: Evidence from Changes in Employer-Reported Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 719-755.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:719-755
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.52.3.0815-7340R1
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    File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/52/3/719
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Moro & Peter Norman, 2019. "Endogenous Comparative Advantage," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(3), pages 1088-1124, July.
    2. Emily Nix & Nancy Qian, 2015. "The Fluidity of Race: “Passing” in the United States, 1880-1940," NBER Working Papers 20828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gerard, Francois & Lagos, Lorenzo & Severnini, Edson R. & Card, David, 2018. "Assortative Matching or Exclusionary Hiring? The Impact of Firm Policies on Racial Wage Differences in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 11923, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmutte, Ian M. & Scur, Daniela, 2019. "Building a productive workforce: the role of structured management practices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103404, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmutte, Ian M. & Scur, Daniela, 2019. "Building a productive workforce: the role of structured management," CEPR Discussion Papers 13908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Victoire Girard & Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier, 2020. "Natural resources and the salience of ethnic identities," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp2007, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.

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