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The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences Across Black, Mexican and White Men

Author

Listed:
  • Heather Antecol

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Kelly Bedard

    (UC - Santa Barbara)

Abstract

Labor market attachment differs significantly across black, Mexican and white men; black and Mexican men are more likely to experience unemployment and out of the labor force spells than are white men. While it has long been agreed that potential experience is a poor proxy of actual experience for women, many view it as an acceptable approximation for men. Using the NLSY, this paper documents the substantial difference between potential and actual experience for both black and Mexican men. We show that the fraction of the black/white and Mexican/white wage gaps that are explained by differences in potential experience are very different than the fraction of the racial wage gaps that are explained by actual (real) experience differences. We further show that the fraction of the racial wage gap explained by education is substantially overstated when potential experience is used instead of actual experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2001. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences Across Black, Mexican and White Men," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-35, Claremont Colleges.
  • Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2001-35
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    File URL: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/2001-35.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2002. "The Relative Earnings of Young Mexican, Black, and White Women," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 122-135, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2012. "Are Wage Premiums for Black Women Illusory? A Critical Examination," Working Papers 120, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    2. Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Arturo Gonzalez & Todd Neumann, 2010. "Learning But Not Earning? The Impact Of Job Corps Training On Hispanic Youth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 651-667, July.
    3. Zheng Fang & Chris Sakellariou, 2013. "Discrimination in the Equilibrium Search Model with Wage-Tenure Contracts," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 451-480, November.
    4. Carlos Gradín, 2012. "Poverty among minorities in the United States: explaining the racial poverty gap for Blacks and Latinos," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(29), pages 3793-3804, October.
    5. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2015. "Estimating Hispanic-White Wage Gaps Among Women: The Importance of Controlling for Cost of Living," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 249-273, September.
    6. Ashwini Deshpande & Smriti Sharma, 2016. "Disadvantage and discrimination in self-employment: caste gaps in earnings in Indian small businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 325-346, February.
    7. Tracy Regan & Ronald Oaxaca, 2009. "Work experience as a source of specification error in earnings models: implications for gender wage decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 463-499, April.
    8. Barry T. Hirsch & John V. Winters, 2014. "An Anatomy Of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings in the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 930-947, December.
    9. Frenette, Marc, 2005. "Is Post-secondary Access More Equitable in Canada or the United States?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005244e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Christophe Nordman & François Roubaud, 2005. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap: Does Labour Force Attachment Really Matter? Evidence from Matched Labour Force and Biographical Surveys in Madagascar," Working Papers 16, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    11. Julie L. Hotchkiss & John C. Robertson, 2006. "Asymmetric labor force participation decisions over the business cycle: evidence from U.S. microdata," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    12. Alexander Whalley, 2004. "Black-White Differences in the Insurance Value of Human Capital," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 575, Econometric Society.
    13. Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso & Gonzalez, Arturo & Neumann, Todd C., 2005. "Learning but Not Earning? The Value of Job Corps Training for Hispanic Youths," IZA Discussion Papers 1638, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Winters, John V. & Hirsch, Barry, 2012. "An Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 6766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. LUIS LOCAY & TRACY L. REGAN & ARTHUR M. DIAMOND Jr, 2013. "The Effects Of Spanish-Language Background On Completed Schooling And Aptitude Test Scores," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 527-562, January.
    16. Christophe J. Nordman & François Roubaud, 2009. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labor Force Attachment Really Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 785-808, July.
    17. Richey, Jeremiah & Tromp, Nikolas, 2016. "Decomposing Black-White Wage Gaps Across Distributions: Young U.S. Men and Women in 1990 vs. 2011," MPRA Paper 74335, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2011. "Trends in poverty and inequality among Hispanics," Working Papers 1109, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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