The Black Youth Employment Crisis

The Black Youth Employment Crisis

by Richard B. Freeman
     
 

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In recent years, the earnings of young blacks have risen substantially relative to those of young whites, but their rates of joblessness have also risen to crisis levels. The papers in this volume, drawing on the results of a groundbreaking survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, analyze the history, causes, and features of this crisis. The

Overview

In recent years, the earnings of young blacks have risen substantially relative to those of young whites, but their rates of joblessness have also risen to crisis levels. The papers in this volume, drawing on the results of a groundbreaking survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, analyze the history, causes, and features of this crisis. The findings they report and conclusions they reach revise accepted explanations of black youth unemployment.

The contributors identify primary determinants on both the demand and supply sides of the market and provide new information on important aspects of the problem, such as drug use, crime, economic incentives, and attitudes among the unemployed. Their studies reveal that, contrary to popular assumptions, no single factor is the predominant cause of black youth employment problems. They show, among other significant factors, that where female employment is high, black youth employment is low; that even in areas where there are many jobs, black youths get relatively few of them; that the perceived risks and rewards of crime affect decisions to work or to engage in illegal activity; and that churchgoing and aspirations affect the success of black youths in finding employment.

Altogether, these papers illuminate a broad range of economic and social factors which must be understood by policymakers before the black youth employment crisis can be successfully addressed.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226261829
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/15/2008
Series:
National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
480
File size:
9 MB

Meet the Author

Richard B. Freeman, director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research and professor of economics at Harvard University, is the author of several books and the coeditor of The Youth Labor Market Problem, published by the University of Chicago Press. Harry J. Holzer is assistant professor of economics at Michigan State University and faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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