Racial Differences in Perceptions of Starting Salaries: How Failing to Discriminate Can Perpetuate Discrimination
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- Avery, D.R. Journal of Business and Psychology (2003) 17: 439. doi:10.1023/A:1023402200478
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Despite recent findings suggesting the presence of racial differences in the perception of starting salaries, researchers have yet to empirically investigate this possibility. Consequently, this study examined the interactive effects of race, ethnic identity, and starting salaries on the salary perceptions of 342 undergraduates. Hispanic, Asian American, and White participants exhibited positive effects of salary whereas Black respondents failed to discriminate between the different salaries. However, a three-way interaction involving ethnic identity, race, and salary revealed a more complex pattern of responses for Black participants: Higher ethnic identifiers responded similarly to Hispanic, White, and Asian Americans. The implications of these results regarding the perpetuation of racial wage inequity are discussed.