Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Marieka Klawitter Addresses the Black-White Wage Gap

Posted: 10/3/2017 (CSDE in the News)

Affiliate Marieka Klawitter, Professor at the Evans School, discussed the wage gap between black and white Americans last week on Seattle’s NPR station, KUOW. The gap is vast; on average, black Americans earn just about half of what their white counterparts do. According to Klawitter, there are a number of reasons for this disparity in earnings, including barriers such as residential segregation, a history of wealth in the family, and the role race plays in the job market. Another contributing factor is the notion of the American Dream. “We love to believe in the American Dream, that if we work hard we can get ahead,” said Klawitter. “We believe that other people will also work hard and that will pay off. It’s hard for us to see the systemic elements like racism that feeds into how much people earn.” The full segment is available below.

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