Race, Gender, and Unemployment Scarring

David S. Pedulla, University of Texas at Austin

Recent scholarship has documented the persistence of severe racial discrimination in hiring as well as the negative effects of long-term unemployment for workers’ ability to obtain employment in the future. Little is known, however, about how the scarring effects of unemployment intersect with racial discrimination at the hiring interface. Drawing on data from an experimental audit study, this paper explores how race and unemployment intersect to affect workers' future labor market opportunities. Consistent with previous research, the empirical results demonstrate that white workers face severe penalties for long-term unemployment at the hiring interface. However, while black workers face severe racial discrimination, they do not bear any additional penalty for having a history of unemployment. Racial variation by the gender of the worker is also examined. These findings have important implications for understanding the production of labor market inequality.

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Presented in Session 215: Race, Gender, and Nativity Inequalities in Economic Outcomes