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The divide-and-conquer and employer/employee models of discrimination: neoclassical competition as a familial defect

  • Mason, Patrick L.

This article is an examination of the similarities between Michael Reich’s divide-and-conquer model of discrimination and the Becker-Arrow taste model of discrimination. It shows that Reich’s model of discrimination is analytically identical to Arrow’s employer discrimination model when employer utility is a function of total profits and the racial employment ratio. It also shows that the Becker-Arrow distinction between employer and employee discrimination is invalid. Finally, the author argues that neoclassical competition is the major defect of both models. After discussing the implications of these results the article points to new directions in the literature on the economics of discrimination.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11333/1/MPRA_paper_11333.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11333.

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Date of creation: 1992
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Publication status: Published in The divide-and-conquer and employer/employee models of discrimination: neoclassical competition as a familial defect 4.20(1992): pp. 73-89
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11333
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Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Glenn C. Loury & Rajiv Sethi, 2014. "Group Inequality," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 129-152, 02.
  3. Steven Shulman, 1987. "Discrimination, Human Capital, and Black-White Unemployment: Evidence from Cities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 361-376.
  4. Marcus Alexis & Marshall Medoff, 1984. "Becker’s utility approach to discrimination: A review of the issues," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 41-58, March.
  5. John E. Roemer, 1979. "Divide and Conquer: Microfoundations of a Marxian Theory of Wage Discrimination," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(2), pages 695-705, Autumn.
  6. Darity, William A, Jr & Williams, Rhonda M, 1985. "Peddlers Forever? Culture, Competition, and Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 256-61, May.
  7. Steven Shulman, 1990. "Racial inequality and white employment: An interpretation and test of the bargaining power hypothesis," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 5-20, December.
  8. David Swinton, 1978. "A labor force competition model of racial discrimination in the labor market," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-42, September.
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