Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study: Prejudice Could Cost A Black Worker Thousands

Date:
December 23, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A recent study sheds light on the role racial prejudice plays in the wage gap between whites and blacks in the US. Prejudice accounts for approximately one-quarter of the racial wage gap, costing a black worker up to $115,000 over a lifetime depending upon where he or she lives, the authors say.

A recent study in the Journal of Political Economy sheds light on the role racial prejudice plays in the wage gap between whites and blacks in the U.S.

Prejudice accounts for approximately one-quarter of the racial wage gap, costing a black worker up to $115,000 over a lifetime depending upon where he or she lives, according to study authors Kerwin Kofi Charles from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago and Jonathan Guryan from Chicago's Booth School of Business.

Educational inequality, differences in workers' skill levels and other forms of discrimination likely account for the rest of the gap, the authors say.

Charles and Guryan used statistical models to test the extent to which wage gaps in each U.S. state vary according to levels of prejudice. Levels of prejudice were determined by a series of surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. In the surveys, white people were asked their views on issues like interracial marriage, whites-only private clubs, neighborhood segregation and whether or not they would vote for a black president.

The result was a fairly robust correlation between wage gaps and prejudice.

"Though prejudice explains only a minority—albeit a significant one—of the black-white wage gap, the costs borne by blacks ... are large," the researchers write. "Consider an 18-year-old black male choosing between two states…. Our estimates imply that if he lives in Florida rather than Massachusetts … the net present value of his [lifetime] earnings will be about $34,000 smaller. If he lives in Mississippi rather than Wisconsin … his discounted earnings are about $115,000 smaller."

The researchers found that wage gaps vary significantly according to the level of prejudice reported by the least prejudiced people in each state. Where the least prejudiced people hold more prejudice, wage gaps are higher.

Why are the least prejudiced people the ones that determine wage gaps?

In his seminal 1957 work The Economics of Discrimination, Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker offered an answer. He theorized that the least prejudiced should be the ones who determine black wages because they are most likely to employ black people. The most prejudiced would either refuse to hire blacks, or pay them so little that blacks would naturally gravitate to less prejudiced employers.

Charles and Guryan's study is the first to offer empirical support for Becker's model. Not only did they find that the least prejudiced have a strong influence on wage gaps, levels of prejudice among the average and most prejudiced have no influence whatsoever.

"This is precisely as the Becker model predicts," the researchers write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Study: Prejudice Could Cost A Black Worker Thousands." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217124150.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, December 23). Study: Prejudice Could Cost A Black Worker Thousands. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217124150.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Study: Prejudice Could Cost A Black Worker Thousands." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217124150.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins