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http://ssrn.com/abstract=912283
 
 

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Markets and Discrimination


Jacob E. Gersen


Harvard University


New York University Law Review, Vol. 82, p. 689, 2007

Abstract:     
Despite decades of scholarship in law and economics, disagreement persists over the extent of employment discrimination in the United States, the correct explanation for such discrimination, and the normative implications of the evidence for law and policy. In part, this is because employment discrimination is an enormously complex phenomenon, and both its history and continued existence are closely linked to politics and ideology. However, some portion of this dispute can also be traced to the incomplete use of empirical evidence. Most economic theories of employment discrimination imply empirical relationships between discrimination and the market structure of particular industries and characteristics of their workforces. Yet empirical work has most typically focused on either specific industries or the economy as a whole, and little systematic evidence about market structure and patterns of actual employment discrimination claims exists. This Article compiles and analyzes an original data set comprised of industry-specific measures of employment discrimination claims, market conditions, and labor force characteristics. In so doing, this Article contributes to an emerging literature that tests the core theoretical positions in the law and economics of discrimination literature, which in turn promises to advance understanding of both the causes of and remedies for employment discrimination.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: employment, discrimination

JEL Classification: J71, K3

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Date posted: June 7, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Gersen, Jacob E., Markets and Discrimination. New York University Law Review, Vol. 82, p. 689, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=912283

Contact Information

Jacob E. Gersen (Contact Author)
Harvard University ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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