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Black-White Economic Participation in Large U.S. Cities: Some Determinants of Their Differentials

Harvey Marshall, Jr.
The American Journal of Economics and Sociology
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Oct., 1972), pp. 361-372
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3485296
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Black-White Economic Participation in Large U.S. Cities: Some Determinants of Their Differentials
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Abstract

In this study some of the causes of the differentials in Black-White economic participation in large U.S. cities are examined. Specific concern is with unemployment and withdrawal from the labor force. The underlying hypothesis is that these differentials are a response to compositional differences between the two populations. The effects of region, economic structure, and segregation are also examined. A causal model is explicated in which these variables are interrelated and their direct and indirect effects upon the dependent variables analyzed. The data suggest that, while having similar patterns of causes, labor force withdrawal and unemployment differentials are distinct phenomena. It also appears that a major portion of the variance in these variables is not accounted for by compositional differences between Blacks and Whites on socio-economic variables. However, educational and occupational differentiation have theoretically significant effects. It is argued that a major portion of the residual variance is due to discrimination, although there is no way of directly testing this hypothesis. An important negative finding is the apparently minor impact of residential segregation, suggesting that the physical isolation of Blacks is not a key factor in their limited economic participation. Finally, the data suggest that it is meaningful to regard assimilation as a multidimensional phenomenon whose dimensions are causally interrelated.

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