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Author: Edmondson, Brandy
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Edmondson, Brandy
Bigger than Black and White: Cultural Capital and Employment Discrimination
Presented: New Orleans LA, American Economic Association Annual Meeting, January 2023
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: American Economic Association
Keyword(s): Discrimination, Job; Income; Labor Market Outcomes; Racial Equality/Inequality; Skin Tone; Wage Growth

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Disparities in Black and White labor outcomes in the United States have been well-documented and persist despite decades of anti-discrimination efforts and human resource management practices. This paper investigates differences in labor market outcomes of monoracial Black individuals and monoracial White individuals by introducing another group of comparison: Black-White biracial individuals (e.g., individuals with one Black parent and one White parent and/or who identify as both Black and White). Although Black-White biracial individuals may face the stigma of being Black in US society, they may hold an advantage over monoracial Blacks because of their comparatively higher familiarity with White culture, on average. Black-White biracial individuals' ability to exhibit characteristics and draw from experiences that are valued by White culture may advantage them in the labor market. The revealing of such characteristics and experiences may lead to preferential treatment for Black-White biracial individuals compared to monoracial Blacks, as previously held beliefs associated with monoracial Blacks are disconfirmed. This paper assesses this question in two studies. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1997 cohort (NLSY97), Study 1 finds that monoracial Black and Black-White biracial individuals receive similar, yet lower starting wages than monoracial White individuals' consistent with the idea that both Black-White biracials and monoracial Blacks face stigma for being Black. However, the rate of growth for Black- White biracial employees' income increases at a higher rate than monoracial Blacks and monoracial Whites as tenure increases leading to employment outcomes more similar to White employees over time- consistent with the idea of revealing White cultural capital. Robustness checks show this effect is not solely driven by differences in phenotype (i.e., skin tone). Study 2, a lab experiment, will test the mechanisms driving differences in wages between racial groups.
Bibliography Citation
Edmondson, Brandy. "Bigger than Black and White: Cultural Capital and Employment Discrimination." Presented: New Orleans LA, American Economic Association Annual Meeting, January 2023.