The Boss is Watching: How Monitoring Decisions Hurt Black Workers

57 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2019

See all articles by Costas Cavounidis

Costas Cavounidis

Boston University

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Russell Weinstein

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

African Americans face shorter employment durations than apparently similar whites. We hypothesize that employers discriminate in either acquiring or acting on ability-relevant information. We construct a model in which firms may "monitor" workers. Monitoring black but not white workers is self-sustaining: new black hires are more likely to have been screened by a previous employer, causing firms to discriminate in monitoring. We confirm the model's prediction that the unemployment hazard is initially higher for blacks but converges to that for whites. Two additional predictions, lower lifetime incomes and longer unemployment durations for blacks, are known to be strongly empirically supported.

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Suggested Citation

Cavounidis, Costas and Lang, Kevin and Weinstein, Russell, The Boss is Watching: How Monitoring Decisions Hurt Black Workers (September 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26319, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3461487

Costas Cavounidis (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Russell Weinstein

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations ( email )

504 East Armory Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820-6297
United States

HOME PAGE: http://publish.illinois.edu/RussellWeinstein

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

410 David Kinley Hall
1407 W. Gregory
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

HOME PAGE: http://publish.illinois.edu/RussellWeinstein

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