The limits of the wage impact of discrimination
In spite of almost 40 years of active enforcement efforts by the EEOC, as well as the strong intervention by the plaintiff bar, the most popular benchmark by which we measure the influence of prejudice on wages paid to female and minority workers has changed very little. This paper maintains that to a large extent this seeming immunity of discriminatory wage gaps to the legal remedies provided by Title VII results from the mismeasurement of those effects. An alternative to the standard Oaxaca decomposition of the wage gap is offered which allows us to put plausible ranges around the true impact of antidiscrimination laws. Not only does this reduce the residual impact of the discrimination that appears to withstand Title VII remedies, it also suggests that the pre-Title VII impact of discrimination on wages accounted for little of the gap observed at the time of its passage. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
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