Arnold Kling  

Kevin Lang on Wage Differentials

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For those, like my co-blogger, who are interested in the issue of labor market discrimination, I again recommend Kevin Lang's new book, Poverty and Discrimination. On p. 314, Lang writes,

if there is discrimination in the labor market, it is concentrated in the lower end of the skill distribution. Black and white male college graduates have similar earnings. It is black high school graduates and, particularly, high school dropouts whose labor market performance is much worse than that of their white equivalents.

...the difference in the cognitive skills that blacks and whites bring to the labor market is an important source of the difference in their earnings. If we want to address the difference in earnings between blacks and whites, we must address the black-white test score gap.

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CATEGORIES: Labor Market

COMMENTS (10 to date)
Mensarefugee writes:

Is the reason for a lack of differential at the higher end job market because blacks get Affirmative Action hiring?

They arent equal to white graduate there. Point of fact, from what Ive read an average Black College Graduate is equal to an Average White High School Graduate.

Bill writes:

Point of fact, from what Ive read an average Black College Graduate is equal to an Average White High School Graduate.

From what I've heard, believe none of what you hear and half of what you read.

Mensarefugee writes:

Damned convenient, Bill.

Floccina writes:

I have always thought that it is not so much IQ that enables one to accumulate wealth things that correlate with IQ. Things like willingness to delay gratification seem bigger to me than IQ but willingness to delay gratification generally correlates with IQ. Also worry seems help people to get into the middle class. Now I agree that not understanding risk can hurt those with low IQ (the state lotteries are and example).

I hate to have to say this but I have worked in blue collar with blacks and on average they seem to miss many more days than the others. It seemed because that where less interested in the income and keeping the jobs. IHMO that is their choice and I have no problem with that.

Perhaps more black men are happy with lower income. Can we just let than be to make their own choices as long as they hurt no one? We should not try to make them like whites maybe it is whites who are in a rat race. In fact some immigrants that I have known have lots on money but a life of constant work. I have chose to be less rich but to have more time. Am I wrong?

The best thing that we could do for black males is to try to keep them safe from homicide as they are much more likely to be killed than whites are. Legalizing drugs might help. OTOH If you believe the statistics giving poor people more money seems to increase the homicide rate (perhaps because it causes an increase in alcohol consumption).

kyle writes:

Responding to Floccina:

There seems to be quite a bit of support for your proposition. Was browsing a blog-favorite of mine yesterday, and found this supporting your proposition:

Steve Sailer writes:

Cheap cocaine wouldn't improve poor people's behavior much either.

Doug writes:


Sweet strawman dood!!!

R. Richard Schweitzer writes:

Behavioral economics does offer some insights into the force of "aspirations" on individual "drive." That leaves open for investigation how aspirations are formed.

Bill writes:

Damned convenient, Bill.

Sorry, it was just too easy. ; )

That leaves open for investigation how aspirations are formed.

My best guess is that aspirations are formed by expectations. I know it's anecdotal, but most successful people I've known had at least one (but usually more) respected adult in their life that expected successful behavior from them.

Floccina writes:

Steve said, 'Cheap cocaine wouldn't improve poor people's behavior much either.'

Maybe not but Milton Friedman said that absent illegality people tend to milder drugs. Perhaps a free market in (not prescription required) Prozac would help. Also an end to war on drugs would reduce the violence associated with the trade in illegal drugs. The homicide rate did fall post prohibition. Also I have been with many stoned people and I do not see the behavior of those stoned on cocaine as being any worse than the behavior of those stoned on booze.

Finally sociologist say that that absent illegality social norms against recreational drug use will build up.

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