Race, Markets, and Social Outcomes

  • Patrick L. Mason
  • Rhonda Williams

Part of the Recent Economic Thought Series book series (RETH, volume 54)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    1. Patrick L. Mason, Rhonda Williams
      Pages 1-12
  3. Self-Employment: Escape from Racism?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
  4. Racial Wage Inequality and Discrimination

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
  5. Health

  6. Race, Crime, and the Neighborhood

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Kwabena Gymah-Brempong
      Pages 133-155
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 191-194

About this book


THE JANUS-FACE OF RACE: REFLEC- TIONS ON ECONOMIC THEORY Patrick L. Mason and Rhonda Williams Many economists are willing to accept that race is a significant factor in US eco­ nomic and social affairs. Yet the professional literature displays a peculiar schizo­ phrenia when faced with the task of actually formulating what race means and how race works in our political economy. On the one hand, race matters when the dis­ cussion is focused on anti-social behavior, social choices, and undesired market outcomes. Inexplicably, African Americans are more likely to prefer welfare, lower labor force participation, and unemployment. On the other hand, race does not matter when the subject of discussion is economically productive or socially accept­ able activities and legal market choices (for example, wages and employment). This Janus-faced construction of race is maintained by economists' stubborn ad­ herence to the market power hypothesis. The market power hypothesis asserts that racial discrimination and market competition are inversely correlated. Discrimina­ tory behavior will persist only in those sectors of society where the competitive forces of the market are least operative. When applied to the labor market, the mar­ ket power hypothesis suggests that pre- and post-labor market decisions represent disjoint sets. On average, members of a disadvantaged social group may accumulate a lower amount of or a lower quality of productive attributes because of discrimina­ tion in marital, residential, or school choice, or because of substantial animosity in day-to-day interpersonal relations with members of a privileged group.


care competition economics employment entrepreneur entrepreneurship health health care inequality innovation innovations institutions research service value-at-risk

Editors and affiliations

  • Patrick L. Mason
    • 1
  • Rhonda Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Notre DameUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland at College ParkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-7822-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-6157-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-199X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site