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Testing for Asymmetric Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination

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  • Ge, Suqin
  • Moro, Andrea
  • Zhu, Beibei

Abstract

We test if firms statistically discriminate workers based on race when employer learning is asymmetric. Using data from the NLSY79, we find evidence of asymmetric employer learning. In addition, employers statistically discriminate against non-college educated black workers at time of hiring. We also find that employers directly observe most of the productivity of college graduates at hiring and learn very little over time about these workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ge, Suqin & Moro, Andrea & Zhu, Beibei, 2020. "Testing for Asymmetric Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," GLO Discussion Paper Series 569, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:569
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/218947/1/GLO-DP-0569.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lepage, Louis Pierre, 2021. "Endogenous learning, persistent employer biases, and discrimination," CLEF Working Paper Series 34, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    statistical discrimination; employer learning; asymmetric learning;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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