23 October, 2006

Whiter shade of pale bonus :: Washington Post

Quote:
Vanderbilt University economist Joni Hersch found that legal immigrants to the United States who had darker complexions or were shorter earned less money than their fair-skinned or taller counterparts with similar jobs, training and backgrounds. Even swarthy whites from abroad earned less than those with lighter skin.

Immigrants with the lightest complexions earned, on average, about 8 to 15 percent more than those with the darkest skin tone after controlling for race and country of origin as well as for other factors related to earnings, including occupation, education, language skills, work history, type of visa and whether they were married to a U.S. citizen.

In fact, Hersch estimated that the negative impact of skin tone on earnings was equal to the benefit of education, with a particularly dark complexion virtually wiping out the advantage of education on earnings.
Via Crooked Timber.

UPDATE: Creams to lighten the skin sell well in the UAE. 7Days raises the issue. Other local papers frequently have stories about the health issues associated with some of these creams. Thanks to commenters for suggesting I connect the dots. It's not just ads that make these creams popular. People think lighter skin will make themselves more popular. Are they correct in that belief -- in the UAE, not just the US?

14 comments:

blogrosh said...

John - do we really need this, after the Fair/Lovely advert?

btw, since we are at it - who stands a better chance, someone dark & tall or someone white & short? Just pushing the envelope of stupidity, I guess?

Anonymous said...

did i mis it or this report didnt mention anything about dubai at all

BD said...

JC I suppose you mean to reference this study to the type of labor discrimination that occurs in the UAE--where one's passport and likely skin color bears some relevance as well. Why didn't you add some commentary to your post?

Anonymous said...

Off topic but can someone tell me what this is ?

Link above goes to google maps. Is something on the emirates road.

BD said...

Wayyy off topic! Why don't you introduce a new post.

Anyway, that is just some far-out Dubai development. My guess, International City. It's an old image. When zooming out one cannot find any trace at all of the Palm islands, clearly visible in more recent Google Earth images.

marwan said...

I'm short AND dark. Zoinks...perhaps ugly, for the trifecta?

bartman said...

OK, so how does the popularity of tanning booths and tropical holidays figure into this?

Someone's gotta tell all those sun-worshippers that they're hurting their earning potential!
:-)

blogrosh said...

"I'm short AND dark" - damn Marwan, I am tall and tanned - I SHALL earn more than you - yohooo!

sorry can't help reacting to this mind numbing "research" : )

Anonymous said...

yoohoo have fun sitting like a giraffe in ur car. dumb tall bum.

blogrosh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
blogrosh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
blogrosh said...

Anon 1:03 - listen wise ass, it's a joke - I am stating the opposite of what Marwan says he is!

In today's day & age when we thrive to drive out such ridiculous stigmas - someone has to do a "research" to state "facts" which drive such ridiculous stigma.

Hence I find the "research" silly/unproductive - and am being silly/ ridiculing it. I am neither tall nor tanned! Get a SOH will ya.

Arrggghhh freaks!

Brn said...

I heard a sociologist explain (or at least theorize) the growth of tanning in Western culture. His explanation went like this.

Pre-industrial revolution, the poor worked out doors in the fields and got tanned. So being pale was a sign of wealth (which is why "fair" is a synonym for "pretty"). After the industrial revolution, the poor were working inside (or at least not in the sun in the case of miners), so they stayed pale. So the wealthy started to get tan to show that they had the leisure time to spend in the sun.

BD said...

^^^ Never heard that, but it sounds plausible.

When I see fair-skinned Westerners on the beach tanning/burning under the sun, I sometimes wonder why they're doing it--what's the deal with torturing yourself? But as a fair-skinned Westerner myself I realize it is probably an act based on culture more than anything one logically decides to do.

I've been separated from my Western roots long enough to think if I'm at the beach where its scortching hot, I'll either be in the water or under some shade.

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