Discrimination and Unemployment

  • Barbara R. Bergmann
Part of the International Economic Association Publications book series (IEA)


As compared to white males, blacks and women in the United States tend to have a high incidence of unemployment, tend to earn lower wages when employed, and tend to be distributed across the range of occupations in a different way. The same is true for women and identifiably lower-class persons in most other countries.1 With respect to any particular group in any particular country, there is likely to be disagreement as to the source or sources of these three problems. Some observers believe that the problems of these groups stem in the main from characteristics of their members, which cause them to shy away from certain jobs, to have or appear to employers to have lower productivity in certain jobs, and to have a high rate of separation from jobs. Other observers emphasise discrimination — the tradition-bound attitudes of employers which result in witholding access to certain jobs from group members who potentially might have normal productivity in those jobs.2


Labour Market Unemployment Rate High Unemployment Rate Unemployed Worker Unemployment Duration 
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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara R. Bergmann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandUSA

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