Race, culture, and skill: interracial wage differentials among African Americans, Latinos, and whites
This article examines the interrelationships among race, culture, skill, and the distribution of wages. I utilize a three-equation system to explore this process: skill is a multidimensional productive attribute measured by years of education and work effort; educational attainment is a function of class background and individual effort; and individual wage rates are a function of skill and class background. By further assuming that effort is differentially distributed across individuals and social groups, I am able to estimate reduced form equations for educational and earnings attainment, where both equations are functions of the class backgrounds and race of individuals. The collective results of this article challenge the conventional wisdom among economists that African American and Latino job skills are of a lower quality than white job skills. To the extent that effort is an important element of worker skill, our results suggest that neither African American nor Latino labor is of lower quality than white labor. The results regarding differences between African Americans and whites in educational attainment, i.e., African Americans are able to translate a given level of resources into higher levels of educational attainment, reaffirm previous findings in the literature. The results on Latino versus white educational attainment are novel. Additionally, unlike previous research, this article connects racial differences in the skill acquisition process to the economics of discrimination.
|Date of creation:||1997|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Review of Black Political Economy 3.25(1997): pp. 5-39|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Nature vs. Nurture? The Bell Curve and Children's Cognitive Achievement," Papers 95-19, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
- John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991.
"Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks,"
NBER Working Papers
3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-43, December.
- Linda Datcher-Loury & Glenn Loury, 1986. "The Effects of Attitudes and Aspirations on the Labor Supply of Young Men," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 377-401 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-29, October.
- Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S219-S51, Part II, .
- B. T. Hirsch & D. A. Macpherson, .
"Wages, racial composition, and quality sorting in labor markets,"
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers
1038-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Hirsch, B.T. & Macpherson, D.A., 1994. "Wages, Racial Composition, and Quality Sorting in Labor Markets," Working Papers 1994_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
- Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
- Michael Boozer & Cecilia Rouse, 1995. "Intraschool Variation in Class Size: Patterns and Implications," NBER Working Papers 5144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
- M. Anne Hill & June O'Neill, 1994. "Family Endowments and the Achievement of Young Children with Special Reference to the Underclass," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1064-1100.
- Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995.
"The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences,"
NBER Working Papers
5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
- Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
- O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
- Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 1992. "Labor Earnings, Discrimination, and the Racial Composition of Jobs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 602-628.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11329. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.