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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

PI: Samuel L. Myers, Jr.

Comparison on Earnings Inequality in China and the U.S.

This project sketches the broad experience of U.S. black-white earnings disparities during the business cycle and contrasts them with Chinese urban minority-Han disparities. The patterns differ between the U.S. and China, warranting a more detailed look at the dynamics of racial earnings inequality in the U.S. The project includes a model of earnings disparities between economic expansion and contraction periods. The researchers estimate the impacts of fluctuations in state unemployment and changes in unemployment on the black-white earnings gaps between periods. The researchers’ hypothesis is that if “a rising tide lifts all ships,” then one would expect to observe widening black-white earnings gaps during the downturn and narrowing earnings gaps during the upturn. Moreover, one would expect that increased unemployment—as a proxy for business cycle effects—should widen inequality while symmetrically reduced overall unemployment should narrow black-white earnings inequality. The researchers use MSI mainly to run regressions in Stata and SAS.

Group Members

Guo Chen, Graduate Student
Blanca Monter Monroy, Research Associate
Bosu Seo, Department of Family Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada