Do Hispanic Workers Face Wage Penalties in the U.S. Labor Market?

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Previous research has found that Hispanic workers earn roughly the same as non-Hispanic white workers, after controlling for observable skills (e.g., Antecol and Bedard, 2002 & 2004; Trejo, 1997; Fryer, 2011). However, these estimates have not jointly taken into account three factors that are likely to overstate Hispanic wages, relative to whites: selection out of the labor market; years of education attained, conditional on AFQT score; and local cost of living. In the proposed work, we will build upon our prior work (McHenry and McInerney, 2012) that showed that estimates of wage premiums for black women are explained away by accounting for these three factors. In the proposed research, we will examine how these three innovations impact estimates of white/Hispanic wage differentials for women as well as men in the 2010 surveys of the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) cohorts.

Grant Product

McHenry, Peter and Melissa McInerney. 2015. "Estimating Hispanic-White Wage Gaps Among Women: The Importance of Controlling for Cost of Living." Journal of Labor Research 36(3): 249-273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12122-015-9210-3

Estimating Hispanic-White Wage Gaps among Women: The Importance of Controlling for Cost of Living
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 15-241, 2015