The effect of race in the U.S. labor market has long been controversial. One posits that racial effects have been diminished since the civil rights movement of the 1960s (Alba & Nee, 2003; Sakamoto, Wu, & Tzeng, 2000; Wilson, 1980). Even if some disparities in labor-market outcomes among race groups are found, advocates of this “declining significance of race” thesis do not attribute these disparities to racial discrimination. They, instead, understand the racial gaps as a result of class composition of racial minority groups, classes represented by larger proportions of the working-class population (Wilson, 1980, 1997) as well as unskilled-immigrant workers (Borjas, 1994).

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