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Racial and Ethnic Wage Gaps in the California Labor Market

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Abstract:

Although California’s diversity is a major source of its strength and identity, large and persistent wage gaps across racial and ethnic groups remain a policy concern. In Racial and Ethnic Wage Gaps in the California Labor Market, Deborah Reed and Jennifer Cheng investigate these disparities. They find that wage gaps between Latinos, whites, and Asians in the state are almost completely determined by educational and occupational differences. These same factors, however, account for a smaller portion of the wage gaps between African American and white Californians. The conclusion discusses general policy directions in education, school readiness, and workforce development for reducing wage gaps in the long run.