The Changing Determinants of Racial Earnings Differences

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Research on the labor market of the 1990s has found that a large portion of the black-white pay gap could be attributed to differences in human capital characteristics, especially standardized test scores, and this finding has had a substantial influence on policy. But both racial differences in human capital characteristics and the labor market returns to those characteristics have changed substantially over time. The proposed research would decompose racial earnings disparities into portions attributable to various individual characteristics, including standardized test scores, within three nationally representative samples spanning the 1960s through the present.

Grant Product

Human Capital and Black-White Earnings Gaps, 1996–2017

Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 21-343, 2021