The Persistence of Skin Color Discrimination for Immigrants
37 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 20, 2010
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination in employment on the basis of color is prohibited, and color is a protected basis independent from race. Using data from the spouses of the main respondents to the New Immigrant Survey 2003, this paper shows that immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 16 percent to 23 percent more than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin color. These estimates control for years of legal permanent residence in the U.S., education, English language proficiency, occupation in source country, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, race, country of birth, as well as for extensive current labor market characteristics that may be themselves influenced by discrimination. Furthermore, the skin color penalty does not diminish over time. These results are consistent with persistent skin color discrimination affecting legal immigrants to the United States.
Keywords: Skin Color, Color Discrimination, New Immigrant Survey, Title VII, Wage Discrimination
JEL Classification: J61, J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation