Friday, February 03, 2017

New Economic Research: Blacks and Hispanics Lazier

This paper is covered in, of all places, The Economist.

New research suggests that effort at work is correlated with race
GIVEN the long history of making racial slurs about the efforts of some workers, any study casting black and Hispanic men as lazier than whites and Asians is sure to court controversy. A provocative new working paper by economists Daniel Hamermesh, Katie Genadek and Michael Burda sticks a tentative toe into these murky waters. They suggest that America’s well-documented racial wage gap is overstated by 10% because minorities, especially men, spend larger portions of their workdays not actually working. After rejecting a number of plausible explanations for why this might be, the authors finally attribute the discrepancy to unexplained “cultural differences”.

Denunciations came quickly, however. Within hours of publication, Mr Hamermesh received vitriolic messages and was labelled a racist in an online forum popular among economists. Mr Hamermesh, an avowed progressive, who refers to Donald Trump only by amusing nicknames and resigned from a post at the University of Texas over a state law permitting the open carrying of firearms, finds this unfair. He notes that Americans work too much. His preferred solution would not be for some groups to work more, but for others to work less.
Of Course!

Take it with a grain of salt because it is based on self-reported responses, but add back a little grain because a progressive couldn't eliminate the findings. I would be more confident if the research focused on blue collar jobs (unclear from the article), since the difference between working and not working is very clear. In white collar jobs, Whites and Asians might engage in more actually productive or self-reported "productive" slacking off. Lazily reading about an upcoming industry conference or maybe a research report about how blacks are lazy. Are you 100% slacking off if you read that while doing you HR job?

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