Jan 31 2007

Skin Tone and Wages

Feature Stories | Published 31 Jan 2007, 9:53 am | Comments Off on Skin Tone and Wages -

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GUEST: Dr. Joni Hersch, Professor of Law and Economics, Vanderbilt University

We will start today by examing one of the tenants that supports the the American myth of “meritocracy.” According to Thomas Shapiro of Brandeis university, the wealth gap in the US is not just a story of merit and achievement, it’s also a story of the historical legacy of race in the United States. In the case of the immigrant American, this legacy is futher complicated by status of immigration, educational level and according to a new Vanderbilt study, “Skin Tone.” Professor Joni Hersch, a law and economics professor at Vanderbilt University, looked at a government survey of 2,084 legal immigrants to the United States from around the world and found that those with the lightest skin earned an average of 8 percent to 15 percent more than similar immigrants with much darker skin.

The report is available online as of February 19th at http://law.vanderbilt.edu

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