How Does High Unemployment Affect Wages of Those Who Remain Employed?

Of course higher unemployment generally raises unemployment among men, women and minorities. But how does it affect the wages of workers who keep their jobs? I believe a new paper that I coauthored with Jeff Biddle is the first to use large amounts of data to address this question about cycles in wage discrimination. Here's the abstract:

Using CPS data from 1979-2009 we examine how cyclical downturns and industry-specific demand shocks affect wage differentials between white non-Hispanic males and women, Hispanics and African- Americans. Women’s and Hispanics’ relative earnings are harmed by negative shocks, while the earnings disadvantage of African-Americans may drop with negative shocks. Negative shocks also appear to increase the earnings disadvantage of bad-looking workers. A theory of job search suggests two opposite-signed mechanisms that affect these wage differentials. It suggests greater absolute effects among job-movers, which is verified using the longitudinal component of the CPS.

Strike Three: Do MLB Umpires Express Racial Bias in Calling Balls and Strikes?

Our paper on discrimination in baseball has finally been published (June AER). While it received a lot of media and scholarly comment in draft, the final version contained a whole new section. The general idea is that those discriminated against will alter their behavior to mitigate the impacts of discrimination on themselves. But while reducing the impacts, these changes are not costless. For example, if you’re an Hispanic pitcher and think that the white umpire is against you, you’ll change your pitches. Where will you throw? How will you throw?

Did the Rooney Rule Really Work?

Last week, Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim wrote a guest post about black coaches in the NFL and the introduction of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority applicant when filling head-coaching spots. Moskowitz and Wertheim concluded that the policy change was successful: "The league achieved its aim. By 2005, there were six African-American coaches in the NFL..."

The Truth About Gay and Lesbian Income

Joe Clark, who has previously written about women's hockey, took a look at the myths surrounding gay and lesbian income statistics. Interestingly, Clark found that "[g]ay males earn less than straight males, often much less. Meanwhile, lesbians earn more than straight females."

Labor Market Arbitrage

The Economist explains how discrimination in the labor market can be reduced by competition in product markets. As in the U.S., Korean women obtain at least the same education as men; but their rates of labor-force participation are much further below those of men than is true in the U.S., and that's even true for highly educated women. This provides room for companies to hire equally or more qualified women at the same or even lower wages than men.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

That might depend on your race. New research (ungated version here) from Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, and Randi Hjalmarsson uses data from criminal trials and finds "strong evidence that all-white juries acquit whites more often and are less favorable to black versus white defendants when compared to juries with at least one black member."

How Much Does It Cost You in Wages if You “Sound Black?”

Fascinating new research by my University of Chicago colleague, Jeffrey Grogger, compares the wages of people who “sound black” when they talk to those who do not. His main finding: blacks who “sound black” earn salaries that are 10 percent lower than blacks who do not “sound black,” even after controlling for measures of intelligence, […]

The Racial Tipping Point

A few years back, I got interested in taxicab tipping – and what influences how much people tip. So together with Fred Vars and Nasser Zakariya, I collected data on more than 1,000 cab rides in New Haven, CT and crunched the numbers. The study (published in The Yale Law Journal) found — after controlling […]

The FREAK-est Links

New company plans to stop online identity theft. (Earlier) Does discrimination start in the brain? Obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking slash your chances of living to 90. (Earlier) How do non-New Yorkers psychologically perceive New York?

The FREAK-est Links

University suspends blood drives to protest federal ban on gay blood donors. (Earlier) Can chimpanzees trade commodities? Smoking and SIDS link explained. States brace themselves for voting technology upgrades.