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Free literature review on differences between black men and white men

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There are well documented differences between the wages earned by black people and white people and these have been witnessed in most spheres of employment. These differences are related to both the hours worked and also the wages earned per week. White men who lack college education are not doing well in the current economy but they are far much better than black men who are at the same level of education. Data indicates that white men with a high school diploma earned an average of $38, 778 in 2010 as compared to black men who earned $26, 668. The same level of disparity can be witnessed when it comes to white women and black women. By mid 20th century, black women earned wages that were less than 50% of those earned by white women. However, things have improved with increased education opportunities and emancipation. In 2008, the mean weekly wage earned by white women and black women were $10. 62 and $9. 23 respectively. When it comes to career choices, most whites have been inclined towards white collar careers like accountancy, law, finance and health care while most blacks engage in sports, manufacturing and the service industries.

Factors behind the Differences in Earnings between Black Men and White Men

The whites in the US are reported to enjoy higher economic advantage than the minorities in the region. According to report by United for a Fair Economy, the income of a black is 57% of a white man income. The wealth gap is even wider than the wage gap; according to a report in 2007, for every dollar owned by a white, a black man has 10 cent only. Such information can be used to assert that there are factors behind these wide gaps both in wage and wealth between the whites and the blacks.
The civilian labor force has been used to measure the level of inequality between the blacks and the whites; the use of comparison of the wage earned has been pointed out as an inaccurate means due to the factors underlying this issue. The difference in wages has been attached to the low potential of the blacks to provide the standard labor force required in the job market. Selective studies have shown that the wage gap got nothing to do with racial discrimination as it has been claimed by some researchers.
The wage gap research however has ignored the high rate of unemployment among the blacks and much emphasis has been put on the employed population. In a recent study of 2011, the average unemployment rate for the blacks was 16. 1% while that of the whites was at 7. 9%. The gap however is reducing and this has been attributed to the Civil Rights Act and affirmative action that have been emphasized to the employers (O’Neill, 35).
Initially, it was argued that black men who settle in the US only find low paying jobs because of low level of education and inexperience. Nevertheless, once they catch up, they earn higher than the white men mainly because they participate at a high level in providing labor force. The argument that discrimination is a major factor in this situation has been out-ruled due to the available information about employment and wages; it is also true that firms and other employers have little or no control over setting of wage rates. Determination of wage rates is done by the employers and the workers; if a firm is discriminating employees by paying fewer wages the employees can move to a better paying firm.
Therefore, even if a firm discriminates among its workers it can only do this for a short time (O’ Neol, 2000). Even if discrimination may affect wages, it is not widespread; this means that there is a good number of non-discriminating employers. Firms owners realize that the profit margin that they make is determined by their employment practice; to ensure that the have a good profit, they employ cheapest workers of a particular quality ultimately this leads to equal payment of qualified workers (william, 30).

Working hours

There is evidence that the difference in income between the blacks and white is because of the number of hours that people of the same educational and skill levels work. Kaufman 2003, in his findings indicates that black males work 25% hours less than white males per year who have similar skills and education (kaufman, 550). This is a direct explanation of any difference in their earnings.

Marital status

Surprisingly, the marital status of men in the US determine their earning, studies on wages show that married men earn higher than those who are not married irrespective of their race. Also, a study on family structure suggests that white men are more likely to get married than the black men and this too explains the gap in the wages. The hypothesis of these studies is that married men are hardworking and more productive due to the many responsibilities bestowed on them by their families and thus they work for long hours to earn more.

Difference in productivity characteristics

The whites are said to be more productive than the blacks measured by their education achievements; they are said to acquire better cognitive skills than their back counter parts and they therefore have better chances of getting well paying jobs than the blacks (Farley, 447). Standardized test scores have been used to determine this factor and the blacks score lower than the whites (Farley, 445). For instance, in the scholastic Assessment Test, which was used as the standard test in 2003, the mean score for the blacks was 857 and the white scored 1060 (Farley, 446).

Background Differences

The blacks while in their homes of origin faced a lot of challenges which narrowed their chances to learn or advance in their studies. Challenges such as civil wars, and poverty related issues affected their economy as well and this affected their ability to acquire more skills (Borjas, 56). Moreover, the high birth rate among the blacks and the scattered population makes access to education a challenge and expensive. When they migrated to the US, they are forced to enroll back to school to add to their skills. The difference in academic achievement is due to attending low quality schools and also due to their family backgrounds (Borjas, 57).

Globalization

Globalization had a significant effect on the labor market; due to the creation of a new economy, particular skills were in high demand. Cheap labor was in excess and those with specialized skilled stood to benefit far more because physical labor could only fetch little earnings. Unfortunately the blacks in the US were overrepresented in the group that comprised people who can offer the physical labor (Dodoo, 66) which did not pay well.
In addition, globalization restructured the labor market in that level of education and possession of certain skills was used to determine who get a particular job and the income for such a person (Borjas, 45). The change of the economy into a global one thus had a major effect on the earnings minorities in the US who comprised mainly of the black immigrants. The blacks’ education level was lower than that of the whites and their skills were not as marketable as those of their white counterparts (Dodoo, 64).
The wage gap however is shortening with time as the blacks have taken the challenge and have continued to enroll back to school to upgrade their academic qualifications and to learn more skills. The policies put in place such as the affirmative action and The Civil Right Act have played significant roles in ensuring that every employee right is respected and thus there is little or no discrimination in work places. This is illustrated by the fact that today; you will find a black man in executive position in a firm (Dodoo, 58).

Works Cited

Borjas Geoffrey,” The Human Capital Approach to Black-White Earnings Inequality: Some Unsettled Questions.”. The Journal of Human Resources 17 2005 (1): 45–93
Dodoo James. ” The Relative Wage Earnings of Blacks and Other Minorities”. Industrialized Labor Relations Review 31 2000 (3): 35-120
Edgar Browning. Stealing from Each Other: How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit. 2008 pp. 23-54
Farley Allen. Job Skill and Black Male Wage Discrimination. Social Science Quarterly 84 2006 (4): 400-522
June O’Neill. the role of human capital in earnings differences between black and white men. Journal of Economic Perspective. Fall 2000, 4 (4) 25-45
Kaufman Richard. Racial Differences between the Black and the White in Household Wealth: Social Stratification research. 2003. 24 (2): 131–575

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