Racial prejudice costs black workers nearly $115,000 over their lifetime

December 18th, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 18 (ANI): A new study has found that racial prejudice can cost black workers nearly 115,000 dollars over the lifetime.
Lead researchers Kerwin Kofi Charles from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago and Jonathan Guryan from Chicago’’s Booth School of Business shed light on the role prejudice plays in the wage gap between whites and blacks in the U.S.
During the study, the research team used statistical models to test the extent to which wage gaps in each U.S. state vary according to levels of prejudice.
They analysed a series of surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Centre at the University of Chicago to determine the levels of prejudice.
In the surveys, white people were asked their views on issues like interracial marriage, whites-only private clubs, neighbourhood segregation and whether or not they would vote for a black president.
The researchers found that wage gaps vary significantly according to the level of prejudice reported by the least prejudiced people in each state.
Where the least prejudiced people hold more prejudice, wage gaps are higher.
“Though prejudice explains only a minority-albeit a significant one-of the black-white wage gap, the costs borne by blacks … are large,” the researchers write.
“Consider an 18-year-old black male choosing between two states…. Our estimates imply that if he lives in Florida rather than Massachusetts … the net present value of his [lifetime] earnings will be about 34,000 dollars smaller. If he lives in Mississippi rather than Wisconsin … his discounted earnings are about 115,000 dollars smaller.”
They said that educational inequality, differences in workers” skill levels and other forms of discrimination likely account for the rest of the gap. (ANI)

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