Intergenerational Transmission of Skills and Differences in Labor Market Outcomes for Blacks and Whites

Inequality: Causes and Consequences

ISBN: 978-1-78560-811-7, eISBN: 978-1-78560-810-0

ISSN: 0147-9121

Publication date: 25 February 2016

Abstract

This paper investigates, theoretically and empirically, differences between blacks and whites in the United States concerning the intergenerational transmission of occupational skills and the effects on sons’ earnings. The father–son skill correlation is measured by the correlation coefficient (or cosine of the angle) between the father’s skill vector and the son’s skill vector. The skill vector comprises an individual’s occupational characteristics from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). According to data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), white sons earn higher wages in occupations that require skills similar to those of their fathers, whereas black sons in such circumstances incur a wage loss. A large portion of the racial wage gap is explained by the father–son skill correlation. However, a significant unexplained racial wage gap remains at the lower tail of the wage distribution.

Keywords

Citation

Okumura, T. and Usui, E. (2016), "Intergenerational Transmission of Skills and Differences in Labor Market Outcomes for Blacks and Whites ", Inequality: Causes and Consequences (Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 43), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 227-286. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0147-912120160000043015

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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