Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8447-7244-8 • Hardback • December 2012 • $107.00 • (£82.00)
978-0-8447-7246-2 • eBook • December 2012 • $101.50 • (£78.00)
June O'Neill is an adjunct scholar at AEI and a professor of economics at Baruch College.
Wages in the US show persistent disparities along lines of race and gender. One explanation is the presence of discrimination in labor markets. The authors (both, economics and finance, Baruch College, CUNY) reject the idea that discrimination is a basic cause of wage differentials and argue that the elaborate efforts to equalize earnings are a policy failure. Their exemplary analysis finds that income differences among white men, minorities, and women are due primarily to a skills gap, as are the higher wages paid to Asians. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Supreme Court's 1970 decision adopting the concept of disparate impact, the federal government began to focus on eliminating economic inequality instead of individual acts of discrimination. Administrative bureaucracies such as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission exerted substantial control over personnel practices in the private and public sectors. After analyzing wage gaps for race and gender, the authors find that most differences are attributable to such factors as age, educational attainment, language fluency, region, and kind of employment. This book makes a convincing case that labor market discrimination is a "minimal source" of wage differentials. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; students, upper-division undergraduate and up; professionals. -- R. L. Hogler, Colorado State University
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