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Skin Color Discrimination and Immigrant Pay

27 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2009 Last revised: 5 Feb 2009

Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt University - Law School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Abstract

In "Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height," (Journal of Labor Economics 2008), I present strong evidence of a wage penalty to darker skin color among new legal immigrants to the United States. Immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 17 percent higher wages than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin color, taking into account Hispanic ethnicity, race, country of birth, education, English language proficiency, family background, and occupation in the source country. This current paper demonstrates that the penalty to darker skin color is not a spurious consequence of omitted variables bias. Instead, discrimination on the basis of skin color is the most likely explanation of the findings.

Keywords: skin color, discrimination, wages, immigrant wages, immigrant pay, legal immigrants

JEL Classification: J31, J11, J71

Suggested Citation

Hersch, Joni, Skin Color Discrimination and Immigrant Pay. Emory Law Journal, Vol. 58, No. 2; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 09-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1327051

Joni Hersch (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/go/phdlawecon

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

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Nashville, TN 37203
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Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

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Nashville, TN 37235
United States

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