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September 1996

Race and the shifting burden of job displacement: 1982-93

Robert W. Fairlie, Lori G. Kletzer

The job displacement rate for blacks converged to that for whites from 1982 to 1993; over the 11-year period, the rate for workers in white-collar occupations, in which blacks were underrepresented, rose, while the rate for blue-collar workers, in which blacks were overrepresented, fell. In this article, a variation of a special decomposition technique is used to account for changes between blacks and whites over time in the burden of job displacement. The analysis reveals a number of factors that help explain the narrowing and subsequent reversal of the displacement rates over the 1980s and into the 1990s.

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