Racial Differences in Time at Work Not Working

William A. Darity, Darrick Hamilton, Samuel L. Myers, Gregory N. Price, Man Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Racial differences in effort at work, if they exist, can potentially explain race-based wage/earnings disparities in the labor market. The authors estimate specifications of time spent on non-work activities at work by Black and White males and females with data from the American Time Use Survey. Estimates reveal that trivially small differences occur between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White males in time spent not working while on the job that disappear entirely when correcting for non-response errors. The findings imply that Black–White male differences in the fraction of the workday spent not working are either not large enough to partially explain the Black–White wage gap, or simply do not exist at all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-572
Number of pages21
JournalILR Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Minnesota Population Center (P2C HD041023) funded through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • discrimination
  • labor supply
  • race
  • time use
  • work effort


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