Publication Date


Award Type

First Prize

Dissertation Advisor

Mark Berger


In this dissertation I have studied the empirical content of the Butler-Heckman thesis. Using U.S. decennial census data from 1940 to 1990, I demonstrate that studies which have made inferences based on the CPS have excluded the institutionalized and incarcerated populations and thereby dramatically understated the extent of black nonemployment. By identifying the distribution of offer wages to blacks and whites as the distribution of interest in assessing black economic progress, I discuss the economic content of alternative identifying assumptions used to recover this latent distribution.

Link to dissertation full text