IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

When Work Disappears: Racial Prejudice and Recession Labour Market Penalties

  • David W. Johnston
  • Grace Lordan

This paper assesses whether racial prejudice and labour market discrimination is counter-cyclical. This may occur if prejudice and discrimination are partly driven by competition over scarce resources, which intensifies during periods of economic downturn. Using British Attitudes Data spanning three decades, we find that prejudice does increase with unemployment rates. We find greater counter-cyclical effects for highly-educated, middle-aged, full-time employed men. For this group, a 1%-point increase in unemployment raises self-reported racial prejudice by 4.1%-points. This result suggests that non-White workers are more likely to encounter racially prejudiced employers and managers in times of higher unemployment. Consistent with the estimated attitude changes, we find using the British Labour Force Survey that racial employment and wage gaps increase with unemployment. The effects for both employment and wages are largest for high-skill Black workers. For example, a 1%-point increase in unemployment increases Black-White employment and wage gaps for the highly educated by 1.3%-points and 2.5%. Together, the attitude and labour market results imply that non-Whites disproportionately suffer during recessions. It follows that recessions exacerbate existing racial inequalities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1257.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1257.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1257
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers 5622, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F28-F51, 02.
  3. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 91-100, Spring.
  4. P. Frijters, 1997. "Discrimination and job-uncertainty," Labor and Demography 9706001, EconWPA.
  5. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  6. Stéphane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 2006. "On voters’ attitudes towards unemployment insurance subsidies across regions: a Canadian simulation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 391-410, June.
  7. Falk, Armin & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Unemployment and Right-Wing Extremist Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 4997, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity Jr, 2006. "Shades of Discrimination: Skin Tone and Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 242-245, May.
  9. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  10. Denise DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," NBER Working Papers 6363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2542, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht & Vogel, Thorsten, 2009. "Employment, Wages, and the Economic Cycle: Differences between Immigrants and Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 4432, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Dawkins, Casey J. & Shen, Qing & Sanchez, Thomas W., 2005. "Race, space, and unemployment duration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 91-113, July.
  14. John Smith, 2012. "Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(4), pages 677-709, 08.
  15. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-145, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  16. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," NBER Working Papers 3713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "The Effect of Community-Level Socio-Economic Conditions on Threatening Racial Encounters," IZA Discussion Papers 3828, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2011. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 17450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Matthew A. Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Media, Education, and anti-Americanism in the Muslim World," Microeconomics 0402005, EconWPA.
  20. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
  21. Fryer Jr., Roland G. & Torelli, Paul, 2010. "An empirical analysis of 'acting white'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 380-396, June.
  22. Diane Lauderdale, 2006. "Birth outcomes for Arabic-named women in California before and after September 11," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(1), pages 185-201, February.
  23. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "A Statistical Analysis of Crime Against Foreigners in Unified Germany," NBER Working Papers 5485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Joseph A Ritter & Lowell J Taylor, 2011. "Racial Disparity in Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 30-42, February.
  26. Erling Barth & Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2004. "Identifying Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants under Changing Macroeconomic Conditions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 1-22, 03.
  27. Grace Lordan & David Johnston, 2011. "Discrimination makes me Sick! Establishing a relationship between discrimination and health," Discussion Papers Series 421, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  28. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "Married to Intolerance: Attitudes toward Intermarriage in Germany, 1900-2006," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 79-85, May.
  29. Biddle, Jeff E. & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2012. "Wage Discrimination over the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 6445, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Orley Ashenfelter, 1969. "Change in Labor Market Discrimination Over Time," Working Papers 387, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  31. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2008. "Prejudice and Wages: An Empirical Assessment of Becker's The Economics of Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 773-809, October.
  32. Kenneth Y. Chay, 1998. "The Impact of Federal Civil Rights Policy on Black Economic Progress: Evidence from the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 608-632, July.
  33. Bollini, Paola & Siem, Harald, 1995. "No real progress towards equity: Health of migrants and ethnic minorities on the eve of the year 2000," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 819-828, September.
  34. Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace, 2012. "Discrimination makes me sick! An examination of the discrimination–health relationship," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 99-111.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1257. 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: ()

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.