Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 12 No. 2 (Spring 1998)


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Discrimination in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Beyond Market Interactions

Article Citation

Loury, Glenn C. 1998. "Discrimination in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Beyond Market Interactions." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(2): 117-126.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.2.117


This comment argues that discrimination against blacks remains important, especially in labor markets, but that its extent is modest both by historical standards and in relation to supply-side racial disparities. It contends that the racial skills gap is endogenous, reflecting the effects of historical and ongoing discrimination; and that the moral obligation to reduce disparities in skills between the races is no less than the obligation to fight market discrimination. Finally, it suggests that imperfect information may be a more pervasive and intractable cause of racial discrimination today than is behavior based on agents' purported distaste for associating with blacks.

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Loury, Glenn C. (Institute on Race & Social Division, Boston U)

JEL Classifications

J71: Labor Discrimination
J15: Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination


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