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Separate and Unequal in the Labor Market: Human Capital and the Jim Crow Wage Gap

Listed author(s):
  • Celeste K. Carruthers

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)

  • Marianne H. Wanamaker

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)

We decompose the 1940 black-white earnings gap into that part attributable to differences in human capital and an unexplained portion that traces the upper bound of labor market discrimination. We find that differences in measurable human capital play a predominant role in determining 1940 wage and occupational status gaps. Our range of estimates for the unexplained gap, 11 to 17 log points, coincides with the higher end of the range of estimates from the post-Civil Rights era. We estimate that a counterfactual “separate but equal” school quality standard would have reduced wage inequalities by as much as 52 percent.

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File URL: http://web.utk.edu/~mwanamak/Wage_Gap.pdf
File Function: First version, 2015
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Paper provided by University of Tennessee, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2015-01.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2015
Handle: RePEc:ten:wpaper:2015-01
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Knoxville - TN 37996

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Web page: http://econ.bus.utk.edu/
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