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CEP discussion paper

Racial Discrimination and Competition

We provide the first assessment of whether an intensification of product market competition reduces the racial wage gap exactly where taste-based theories predict that competition will reduce labor market discrimination. in economies where employers have strong racial prejudices. We use bank deregulation across the U.S. states to identify an intensification of competition among banks, which in turn lowered entry barriers facing nonfinancial firms, especially firms that depend heavily on bank credit. Consistent with taste-based theories, we find that competition boosted blacks’ relative residual wages within the banking industry and bank-dependent industries, but only in states with strong tastes for discrimination.

Ross Levine, Alexey Levkov and Yona Rubinstein

17 August 2011     Paper Number CEPDP1069

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Labour markets programme, Labour markets programme.