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An Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings

Author

Listed:
  • Winters, John V.

    () (Oklahoma State University)

  • Hirsch, Barry

    () (Georgia State University)

Abstract

Progress in narrowing black-white earnings differences has been far from continuous, with some of the apparent progress resulting from labor force withdrawal among lower-skilled African Americans. This paper builds on prior research and documents racial and ethnic differences in male earnings from 1950 through 2010 using data from the decennial census and American Community Surveys. Emphasis is given to annual rather than weekly or hourly earnings. Treatment of imputed earnings greatly affects measured outcomes. We take a quantile approach, providing evidence on medians and other percentiles of the distribution. Black male joblessness rose to over 40% in 2010, the median black-white earnings gap being the largest in at least sixty years. The experience of black men contrasts with that of Hispanic men during the last decade, who exhibited earnings growth similar to white men. Black men are being left behind economically, a process exacerbated by weak labor market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6766
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 201-232.
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    5. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Devah Pager & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2013. "Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 633-689.
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    7. Dan A. Black & Natalia A. Kolesnikova & Lowell J. Taylor, 2010. "The economic progress of African Americans in urban areas: a tale of 14 cities," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 353-379.
    8. Charles Brown, 1984. "Black-White Earnings Ratios Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Importance of Labor Market Dropouts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(1), pages 31-44.
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    11. Mok, Wallace & Siddique, Zahra, 2011. "Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Employer Provided Fringe Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 6255, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias & Thomas Masterson, 2012. "Trends In American Living Standards And Inequality, 1959–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(2), pages 197-232, June.
    13. Baum-Snow, Nathaniel & Neal, Derek, 2009. "Mismeasurement of usual hours worked in the census and ACS," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 39-41, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ransom, Tyler & Winters, John V., 2016. "Do Foreigners Crowd Natives out of STEM Degrees and Occupations? Evidence from the U.S. Immigration Act of 1990," IZA Discussion Papers 9920, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:288-308 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jonathan D. Fisher & Christina A. Houseworth, 2017. "The Widening Black-White Wage Gap among Women," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(3), pages 288-308, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    imputed earnings; median regression; race; earnings; inequality; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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