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Racial discrimination in the U.S. labor market: employment and wage differentials by skill

Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel; Bradley, Jake; Tarasonis, Linas


Daniel Borowczyk-Martins

Linas Tarasonis


In the U.S. the average black worker has a lower employment rate and earns a lower wage compared to his white counterpart. Lang and Lehmann (2012) argue that black-white wage and employment gaps are smaller for high-skill workers. We show that a model combining employer taste-based discrimination, search frictions and skill complementarities can replicate these regularities, and estimate it using data from the U.S. manufacturing sector. We find that discrimination is quantitatively important to understand differences in wages and job finding rates across workers with low education levels, whereas skill differences are the main driver of those differences among workers with high education levels.


Borowczyk-Martins, D., Bradley, J., & Tarasonis, L. (in press). Racial discrimination in the U.S. labor market: employment and wage differentials by skill. Labour Economics, 49,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 27, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 29, 2019
Journal Labour Economics
Print ISSN 0927-5371
Electronic ISSN 1879-1034
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Keywords Employment and wage gaps; Discrimination; Job search; Sorting
Public URL
Publisher URL


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