Is The Race Gap A Skills Gap?

Why wages of blacks are lagging

After narrowing for decades, the gap between wages earned by blacks and by whites has widened since 1980--a development that has led some observers to charge that progress in reducing job discrimination has stalled. In a controversial new study in the current issue of The Journal of Political Economy, however, Derek A. Neal of the University of Chicago and William R. Johnson of the University of Virginia find that much of the remaining black-white wage difference may reflect a gap in basic skills.

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