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Evolution, Green Beards, And Skin Hue Wage Discrimination


  • Gregory N. Price

    (Department of Economics North Carolina A&T State University)


This paper provides an evolutionary rationale for both interracial and intraracial wage differentials by examining the implications of white employers mediating their employer-employee relationships on the basis of genetic similarity. If in organized labor markets, relationships mediated through genetic similarity are optimal in terms of Darwinian Fitness, a fundamental evolutionary implication is that the Marginal Rate of Substitution (MRS) in Darwinian fitness, holding extended fitness constant, equals the MRS ins preferernces, holding utility constant. Given such an evolutionary equilibrium, results are derived showing that the strength of tastes for discrimination depends upon the skin hus of nonwhite workers. The rationale established for racial wage differentials is that where skin hue serves to indicate genetic similarity between employer and employee, wage differentials emerge that are a function of skin hue.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory N. Price, 1996. "Evolution, Green Beards, And Skin Hue Wage Discrimination," Labor and Demography 9611001, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Jun 1997.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9611001
    Note: 20 page postscript document prepared on Unix mainframe Paper withdrawn, contact author for text version of the paper.

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    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination


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