Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 439–450

Racial Differences in Perceptions of Starting Salaries: How Failing to Discriminate Can Perpetuate Discrimination


DOI: 10.1023/A:1023402200478

Cite this article as:
Avery, D.R. Journal of Business and Psychology (2003) 17: 439. doi:10.1023/A:1023402200478


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.

racial differences salaries ethnic identity discrimination perception 

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management & Information Systems, Erivan K. Haub School of BusinessSaint Joseph's UniversityPhiladelphia