Kizer, Jessica M. (2018). Differences in household income by skin color across the United States and within the family. Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America.
Researchers commonly examine how U.S. income inequality varies by race, but rarely consider skin color. The limited research in this area demonstrates that those with darker skin are more disadvantaged than those with lighter-skinned. However, scholars often analyze individuals across families, without considering that skin color varies within families. I improve upon prior studies with an underused, within-family approach using data from Add Health. I examine the relationship between skin color and household income among a nationally-representative sample. I then use sibling fixed-effects to account for mutual unobserved and observed family characteristics to study the same relationship. Skin color is significantly associated with household income in the nationally representative sample, with the relationship being larger for men than for women. Among siblings, I find that the relationship between complexion and household income remains statistically significant and in fact, the magnitude of the relationship is greater, than in the larger sample.
income family race ethnicity skin color
Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America
Income inequality by race, ethnicity, nativity, and gender
Kizer, Jessica M.
City of Publication