Chapter 10

Racial inequality in the 21st century: the declining significance of discrimination

Fryer Roland G. Jr.1, Harvard University, EdLabs, NBER


There are large and important differences between blacks in whites in nearly every facet of life— earnings, unemployment, incarceration, health, and so on. This chapter contains three themes. First, relative to the 20th century, the significance of discrimination as an explanation for racial inequality across economic and social indicators has declined. Racial differences in social and economic outcomes are greatly reduced when one accounts for educational achievement; therefore, the new challenge is to understand the obstacles undermining the development of skill in black and Hispanic children ...

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