Cycles of Wage Discrimination

37 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2011

See all articles by Jeff Biddle

Jeff Biddle

Michigan State University

Daniel S. Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

Using CPS data from 1979-2009 we examine how cyclical downturns and industry-specific demand shocks affect wage differentials between white non-Hispanic males and women, Hispanics and African-Americans. Women's and Hispanics' relative earnings are harmed by negative shocks, while the earnings disadvantage of African-Americans may drop with negative shocks. Negative shocks also appear to increase the earnings disadvantage of bad-looking workers. A theory of job search suggests two opposite-signed mechanisms that affect these wage differentials. It suggests greater absolute effects among job-movers, which is verified using the longitudinal component of the CPS.

Suggested Citation

Biddle, Jeff E. and Hamermesh, Daniel S., Cycles of Wage Discrimination (August 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17326. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918656

Jeff E. Biddle (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Daniel S. Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-475-8526 (Phone)
512-471-3510 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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