IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Black-White Wage Differentials: 1967-1989

  • Hakan Ercan;

    (Bogazici University, Istanbul)

  • Susan Green;

    (University of Iowa)

  • Donal O'Neill


This paper examines the patterns of black-white wage convergence for full-time males over the last two decades. In contrast to earlier studies of black-white wage convergence that focused on mean wages, we analyze convergence patterns throughout the wage distribution. In particular, we focus on the patterns of convergence at the upper and lower tails of the distribution. In the first section we show that although the black-white wage ratio suggests similar patterns of convergence throughout the distribution, an examination of the wage levels driving these ratios reveals substantial differences across the wage distribution. In the second section, we examine the forces driving these convergence patterns. Our finds suggest that affirmative action has improved the wages of both skilled and unskilled black workers, largely by providing improved access to education and also by reducing the black-white differential in the return to education. Unfortunately, for low skilled black workers, these gains have been cancelled out by economy wide forces that have had a negative effect on the wages of all low-skilled workers. As a result, unskilled workers today are no better off in absolute terms than they were in the early 1970's, with many of them surviving in minimum wage jobs.

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:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify ()

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n621195.

in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n621195
Contact details of provider: Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Phone: 353-1-7083728
Fax: 353-1-7083934
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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:may:mayecw:n621195. 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.