Race Differences in Earnings: A Survey and New Evidence.

by James P. Smith, Finis Welch

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback69 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

Explores five possible explanations for the recent convergence in black-white earnings ratios: (1) a convergence in black and white income-producing characteristics; (2) a cohort or "vintage" improvement among blacks; (3) the effects of migration; (4) the effects of government affirmative action and reduction in labor market discrimination; and (5) business cycle variation. The principal explanation given here for the improved economic status of blacks is that successive cohorts of blacks and whites are simply becoming more alike in those attributes producing higher wages. The report is based on a statistical analysis of eight Current Population Surveys for 1968 through 1975, each dataset containing approximately 40,000 people. Thus eight successive cross-sections are used to distinguish cohort and life cycle effects. The weight of evidence supports cohort improvement rather than the life cycle view. 69 pp. Bibliog.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

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.