Explaining cross-racial differences in teenage labor force participation: Results from a two-sided matching model

Tom Ahn, Peter Arcidiacono, Alvin Murphy, Omari Swinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


White teenagers are substantially more likely to search for employment than black teenagers. This differential occurs despite the fact that, conditional on race, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to search. While the racial wage gap is small, the unemployment rate for black teenagers is substantially higher than that of white teenagers. We develop a two-sided search model where firms are partially able to search on demographics. Model estimates reveal that firms are more able to target their search on race than on age. Employment and wage outcome differences explain half of the racial gap in labor force participation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Econometrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2010



  • Racial employment gap
  • Racial wage gap
  • Search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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