Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 15-241

**Published Version**

In Journal of Labor Research 36(3): 249-273




Despite concern regarding labor market discrimination against Hispanics, previously published estimates show that Hispanic women earn higher hourly wages than white women with similar observable characteristics. This estimated wage premium is likely biased upwards because of the omission of an important control variable: cost of living. We show that Hispanic women live in locations (e.g., cities) with higher costs of living than whites. After we account for cost of living, the estimated Hispanic-white wage differential for non-immigrant women falls by approximately two-thirds. As a result, we find no statistically significant difference in wages between Hispanic and white women in the NLSY97.

Issue Date

March 2015

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Wages, health insurance and other benefits


Get in touch with the expert

Want to arrange to discuss this work with the author(s)? Contact our .



McHenry, Peter and Melissa McInerney. 2015. "Estimating Hispanic-White Wage Gaps among Women: The Importance of Controlling for Cost of Living." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 15-241. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.