IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/7042.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ethnic Parity in Labour Market Outcomes for Benefit Claimants

Author

Listed:
  • Crawford, Claire
  • Dearden, Lorraine
  • Mesnard, Alice
  • Shaw, Jonathan
  • Sianesi, Barbara

Abstract

A significant gap exists in the UK between the employment rate for Ethnic Minorities and that for Whites. From a policy perspective, it is important to know whether this gap is due to differences in the characteristics of White and Ethnic Minority groups (which reduce the employability of Ethnic Minority groups relative to Whites) or whether it results from some form of discriminatory behaviour in the labour market. In this paper, we use administrative data to estimate ethnic differences in employment and benefit receipt amongst individuals who began claiming a Jobcentre Plus benefit in 2003. In contrast to much of the previous UK literature, we use a number of different quantitative techniques to estimate this gap, and show that in a lot of cases the estimates obtained are very sensitive to the techniques used. We argue that for the questions we are interested in and the data we have, propensity score matching methods are the most robust approach to estimating ethnic parity. We compare this preferred approach with estimates derived using alternative approaches commonly used in the literature (generally regression-based techniques) to determine the extent to which more straightforward methods are able to replicate those produced by matching. In many cases, it turns out not to be possible to calculate satisfactory quantitative estimates even with matching techniques: the characteristics of Whites and Ethnic Minorities are simply too different before the Jobcentre Plus intervention to reliably estimate the parameters of interest. Moreover, for a number of the groups, results seem to be very sensitive to the methodology used. This calls into question previous results based on simple regression techniques, which are likely to hide the fact that observationally different ethnic groups are de facto being compared on the basis of parametric extrapolations. Two groups for which it was possible to calculate reasonably reliable results are incapacity benefit (IB) and income support (IS). For these groups we find that large and significant raw penalties almost always disappear once we appropriately control for pre-inflow background and labour market characteristics. There is also a good degree of consistency across methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Crawford, Claire & Dearden, Lorraine & Mesnard, Alice & Shaw, Jonathan & Sianesi, Barbara, 2008. "Ethnic Parity in Labour Market Outcomes for Benefit Claimants," CEPR Discussion Papers 7042, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7042
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7042
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

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

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    Keywords

    benefit; discrimination; employment; ethnic; matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:cpr:ceprdp:7042. 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.