Special Issue 2019, Article 3 from Series of 5: Black-White Differences in Canadian Educational Attainments and Earnings

Rosalie Masella, James McIntosh
International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies  •  Volume 3  •  2019  •  pp. 157-170
Data from two large Canadian surveys are used to analyze educational and earnings performance of Blacks and Whites. The main purpose of this study is to determine how well blacks perform relative to Whites in these two areas.
Canadian researchers have been studying black performance in education and labor markets since the 1970’s. Much of this research was done before 2000. It showed that there was considerable discrimination in the way Blacks were treated in the labor market but fewer problems concerning their success in the educational system. Since then more data has become available and it is possible to re-examine this issue and explore new dimensions of black economic performance.
Educational outcomes are categorical and are analyzed by ordered Beta probability models. Earnings functions are estimated by mixed linear regression models where the mixing procedure is used to account for unobserved differences in respondent ability.
Contribution :
Our results update and expand what was known before 2016 using the most resent Canadian Census and Youth Smoking Survey of which the latter contains academic performance information for students in primary and secondary school.
Findings :
The main results show that while Black males are able to access the educational system without much racial prejudice, they are not treated fairly in the labor market. Black females do less well in both the educational system and labor markets. Blacks earn significantly less than Whites for all age groups, all levels of education, and in all occupations. They are more likely to be less than fully employed and more likely to be at the bottom of the income distribution. These findings are consistent with earlier studies but the amount of discrimination is larger and black/white earnings differentials are larger than those found by researchers using earlier surveys.
Recommendation for Practitioners :
These results are disturbing and the persistence over long periods of time suggests that some form of expanded government intervention is needed.
Recommendations for Researchers:
The surveys used here provide inadequate information on the process of discrimination. More and better data is needed to understand why, for example, black students do less well than their white counterparts in primary and secondary school and yet overcome these problems in tertiary education.
Impact on Society:
Discrimination of any sort is costly to the victims but is also detrimental to society as a whole since it represents a failure our institutions to deliver a fair and just society for all groups regardless of race or ethnicity. We hope our results will draw attention to the need to address this problem.
Canada, Racism, Blacks, Ordered probability Models, Beta Distributions, Mixtures
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