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(Source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2014/tables.html)
Educational attainment by race and ethnicity in 2012
White Hispanic Black Asian
Completed four years of high school or more 89.0% 65.0% 84.2% 88.9%
Completed four years of college or more 29.0% 14.0% 17.0% 52.0%

How is discrimination in the housing market connected to employment discrimination?

In a recent study by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department, black homebuyers who ask to look at homes for sale are shown 18 percent fewer homes compared to white homebuyers. Asians are shown 19 percent fewer properties. Additionally, Hispanics experience more discrimination in renting apartments and undergo stiffer credit checks than white renters. In a 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the nonprofit Urban Institute, Hispanic testers who contacted agents about advertised rental units were given information about 12 percent fewer units available and were shown seven percent fewer units than white renters. The $9 million study, based on research in 28 metropolitan areas, concluded that blatant “door slamming” forms of discrimination are on the decline but that the discrimination that does exist is harder to detect, and as a result, more difficult to remedy. According to the Chicago Tribune , HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told reporters, “Just because it’s taken on a hidden form doesn’t make it any less harmful. You might not be able to move into that community with the good schools.”

The lower levels of education for black workers can also be a result of discrimination—although it may be pre-labor market discrimination, rather than direct discrimination by employers in the labor market. For example, if discrimination in housing markets causes black families to live clustered together in certain poorer neighborhoods, then the black children will continue to have lower educational attainment then their white counterparts and, consequently, not be able to obtain the higher paying jobs that require higher levels of education. Another element to consider is that in the past, when blacks were effectively barred from many high-paying jobs, getting additional education could have seemed somewhat pointless, because the educational degrees would not pay off. Even though labor market discrimination has been legally abolished, it can take some time to establish a culture and a tradition of valuing education highly. Additionally, a legacy of past discrimination may contribute to an attitude that blacks will have a difficult time succeeding in academic subjects. In any case, the impact of social discrimination in labor markets is more complicated than seeking to punish a few bigoted employers.

Competitive markets and discrimination

Gary Becker (b. 1930), who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1992, was one of the first to analyze discrimination in economic terms. Becker pointed out that while competitive markets can allow some employers to practice discrimination, it can also provide profit-seeking firms with incentives not to discriminate. Given these incentives, Becker explored the question of why discrimination persists.

Questions & Answers

What is the law of demand
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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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