Firm-specific evidence on racial wage differentials and workforce segregation in Hawaii's sugar industry

Sumner J. La Croix, Price V. Fishback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine firm-specific data from 38 sugar plantations in Hawaii during 1900-1901 to study the magnitude and source of racial and ethnic wage differentials. Substantial differences in the average wages received by members of different ethmic groups were found, with Americans and Europeans at the top of the average wage ranking and Chinese and Japanese at the bottom. While a substantial portion of the wage differences was caused by concentration of non-Caucasians in low-wage jobs, Americans and Europeans were also paid higher wages than non-Caucasians for the same job. The differences were not necessarily due to discrimination. Evidence from outside the sample suggests that there were productivity differences between and within ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-423
Number of pages21
JournalExplorations in Economic History
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics

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