Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 269–278 | Cite as

The Impact of Racial Discrimination on the Early Career Outcomes of Young Men

  • Francesco RennaEmail author
  • Randall King


The NLSY dataset is utilized to measure the extent of employer wage discrimination between white and black males during their first 5 years of post-school employment. We look at the respondent’s first job and the jobs 1 and 5 years after school completion. Oaxaca wage decompositions are employed to gauge the effect of discrimination. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that the discrimination component of the wage gap falls over time. For the first job out of school the unexplained wage gap between blacks and whites is 35%. By year 5, the unexplained component falls to about 13%. Thus, while discrimination continues to play a role in explaining the white–black wage gap over time, its impact decreases as time in the labor market increases.


Early career outcomes Discrimination Wage gap 

JEL Classification

J15 J31 J71 



The authors would like to thank the participants to the 10th Society of Labor Economists Meeting for their helpful suggestions. All remaining errors are ours.


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Copyright information

© International Atlantic Economic Society 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of AkronAkronUSA

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