Race and Fields of Study: A Detail Decomposition of Income Growth, 1993 to 2003

ChangHwan Kim, University of Minnesota

Using the National Survey of College Graduate datasets, this paper estimates the significance of being Black, Hispanic, and Asian American among native-born, college-educated male workers after controlling for their field of study. Applying an averaging method, detail decompositions of racial income gaps are conducted thereafter. As a result, this paper reveals that, first, the income gaps between whites and minorities has been growing over 1993 to 2003. Second, the discriminatory component has not reduced over this time period. Third, the growing skill premium does not account for the widening racial income gap. Fourth, Hispanics’ disadvantage has grown substantially between 1993 and 2003 so that their net disadvantage is almost equal to that of Blacks. Fifth, even though all three racial minorities accumulated more human capital than Whites over this time period, their income growth rates do not equivalently correspond to the growth of their human capital. Race-specific reasons for these phenomena are discussed.

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Presented in Session 163: Racial Differences in Education