Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment

Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 13-195

65 Pages Posted: 13 May 2013

See all articles by Abigail Wozniak

Abigail Wozniak

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2012

Abstract

Nearly half of U.S. employers test job applicants and workers for drugs. I use variation in the timing and nature of drug testing regulation to study discrimination against blacks related to perceived drug use. Black employment in the testing sector is suppressed in the absence of testing, consistent with ex ante discrimination on the basis of drug use perceptions. Adoption of pro-testing legislation increases black employment in the testing sector by 7-30 percent and relative wages by 1.4-13.0 percent, with the largest shifts among low-skilled black men. Results suggest that employers substitute white women for blacks in the absence of testing.

Keywords: employment drug testing, discrimination, employment, current population survey

JEL Classification: J7, J15, K2, K3, M5

Suggested Citation

Wozniak, Abigail, Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment (June 2012). Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 13-195, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2264334 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2264334

Abigail Wozniak (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis ( email )

90 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55480
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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