Department of Sociology

Sociology in the News: ChangHwan Kim and Arthur Sakamoto - "Asian-Americans in U.S. earn less than white men: study"

Tue, January 4, 2011

Are Asian Americans the first minority group to have achieved full equality with whites in terms of how they are treated in the labor market? Using recent data for white and Asian American male college graduates, ChangHwan Kim from the University of Kansas and Arthur Sakamoto from the University of Texas provide a careful statistical analysis that removes the effects of a variety of potential influences on financial earnings -- such as a respondent’s educational level and major field of study. Kim and Sakamoto find that, compared with whites, Asian Americans who were schooled overseas are substantially disadvantaged in terms of earnings; however, this result probably derives partly from having foreign educational credentials. Asian Americans who completed graduate school in the United States are less disadvantaged but still do not obtain full equality with whites. Kim and Sakamoto consider that part of this negative effect may be a result of reduced English skills. However, they find that even native-born Asian Americans whose native language is English earn 8 percent less than whites. Kim and Sakamoto conclude that although notable racial progress has been made in the case of Asian American college-educated men, they still lag slightly behind whites in terms of achieving full equality in the labor market.

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  • Department of Sociology

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