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Racial and Ethnic Differences in Nonwage Compensation


  • My thanks to Colleen Manchester, Lowell Taylor, Liz Davis, seminar participants at the University of Minnesota, and an anonymous referee for comments that greatly improved this research. They are not responsible for any remaining deficiencies, however.


Previous research has found that, after controlling for test scores, measured black–white wage gaps are small, but unemployment gaps remain large. This article complements this previous research by examining the incidence of employer-provided benefits from the same premarket perspective. However, marriage rates differ substantially by race, and the possibility of health insurance coverage through a spouse's employer therefore distorts how the distribution of benefits available in the market to an individual is expressed in the distribution of benefits received. Two imputation strategies are used to address this complication. The evidence suggests that benefit availability gaps are small.