Racial Earnings Disparities and Family Structure

23 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2013

See all articles by William A. Darity

William A. Darity

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics; Duke University - Department of Economics

Samuel Myers

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Chanjin Chung

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

One explanation for the widening of racial earnings gaps among family heads during the 1980s is that black families were increasingly headed by females during that period. This explanation is tested using data on black and white family heads in 1976 and 1985 from the Institute for Research on Poverty's Current Population Survey. Log-earnings equations, corrected for selection bias and for the endogeneity of labor force participation, are estimated for blacks and whites in 1976 and 1985. If the impact of rising female-family headship on labor force participation is ignored, one finds support for the family structure explanation. But support for alternative explanations is also found. There are substantial impacts of within-race gender discrimination and of market racial discrimination. When the endogeneity of family structure is taken into account, further support is found for the view that endowment differences only explain a modest portion of the rising gap in earnings between black and white family heads.

Keywords: racial earnings, gaps, family structure, black families, log-eanings equations, family heads, race discrimination, gender discrimination, female discrimination, endowment differences

Suggested Citation

Darity, William A. and Myers, Samuel and Chung, Chanjin, Racial Earnings Disparities and Family Structure (1998). Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 65, No. 1, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2364588

William A. Darity

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
919-966-5392 (Phone)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Samuel Myers (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ( email )

301 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Chanjin Chung

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

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