The improving economic status of black Americans

by James P. Smith


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback14 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Blacks are becoming less distinguishable from whites in market earnings. Relative to white males, black male earnings have gradually increased, and the rise during the 1960s and early 1970s is even larger than observed earlier. By 1975 almost complete racial parity of wages among women had been achieved. This advance in relative income is due mainly to converging educational distributions by race and a narrowing in wage differentials between regions. Affirmative action pressures apparently had little impact on male income ratios but may have contributed to the improvement among black women. The direct effect of migration was a very minor factor in this recent improvement among blacks. Changes in other aspects of market work including choice of full-time work, the decline of the domestic service occupations, and sample censoring all contributed to the observed rise in the relative wage of black women.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.