Wednesday, May 07, 2014

U.S. Companies Often Assume Black Job Applicants Do Drugs

U.S. Companies Often Assume Black Job Applicants Do Drugs: More than any other group, black job applicants are being turned away by U.S. companies under the implicit assumption that they are using illegal drugs, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

The study’s author, University of Notre Dame economics professor Abigail Wozniak, looked at how hiring practices differ between states with laws that incentivize or encourage drug testing and states with laws that limit or do not require such testing. She found that pro-testing legislation has a “large” and positive effect on black employment and wages, especially among low-skilled black men.

As the chart below shows, enacting pro-drug testing laws improves the share of blacks working in what Wozniak terms high-testing industries, while leading to a decrease in the share of whites working in such industries.