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An Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings

  • Winters, John V.

    ()

    (Oklahoma State University)

  • Hirsch, Barry

    ()

    (Georgia State University)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6766.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6766
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  1. 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, 06.
  2. Fryer, Roland G. & Pager, Devah & Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2011. "Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages," MPRA Paper 33607, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. 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.
  4. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2004. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences across Black, Mexican, and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  5. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2012. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 959-1006, December.
  6. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, Junio.
  7. Dan A. Black & Natalia A. Kolesnikova & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2009. "The role of location in evaluating racial wage disparity," Working Papers 2009-043, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Dumond, J Michael & Hirsch, Barry T & Macpherson, David A, 1999. "Wage Differentials across Labor Markets and Workers: Does Cost of Living Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 577-98, October.
  9. Hilary Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & Jessamyn Schaller, 2012. "Who Suffers during Recessions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 27-48, Summer.
  10. 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.
  11. Harry J. Holzer, 1991. "The Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: What Has the Evidence Shown?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 28(1), pages 105-122, February.
  12. 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.
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  14. Amitabh Chandra, 2003. "Is the Convergence of the Racial Wage Gap Illusory?," NBER Working Papers 9476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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).
  16. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 3778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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