The Great Recession and U.S. partial discrimination orderings by race

John A. Bishop, Jonathan M. Lee, Lester A. Zeager


We gauge the impact of the Great Recession on racial and ethnic subgroups by applying a stochastic dominance method proposed by Le Breton, et al. (2012).  The method generates a partial discrimination ordering – or alternatively, a measure of the economic advantage for one subgroup relative to another.  We apply the method to Current Population Survey data for 2006 through 2012, covering the recession years and the beginning of the recovery, and construct a comprehensive income measure that includes in-kind transfers and taxes. We find statistically significant differences in the impact of the Great Recession at the lower tails of the income distributions for blacks and Hispanics.

Full Text:



Armour, P., Burkhauser, R.V. and Larrimore, J. (2013) Deconstructing income and income inequality measures: a crosswalk from market income to comprehensive income, American Economic Review, 103(3), 173-177.

Bishop, J.A., Chow, K.V. and Zeager, L.A. (2010) Visualizing and testing convergence between two income distributions, Journal of Income Distribution, 19(1), 2-19.

Bishop, J.A., Grodner, A., Liu, H. and Ahamdanech-Zarco, I. (forthcoming) Subjective poverty equivalence scales for Euro Zone countries, Journal of Economic Inequality.

Butler, R. and McDonald J. (1987) Interdistributional income inequality, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, 5(1), 13-18.

Deutsch, J. and Silber J. (1999) Inequality decomposition by population subgroup and the analysis of interdistributional inequality, in Silber, J. ed., Handbook of Income Inequality Measurement. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 363-397.

Larrimore, J., Burkhauser, R.V. and Armour, P. (2013) Accounting for income changes over the great recession (2007-2010) relative to previous recessions: the importance of taxes and transfers, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 19699.

Le Breton, M., Michelangeli, A. and Peluso, E. (2012) A Stochastic Dominance Approach to the Measurement of Discrimination, Journal of Economic Theory, 147(4): 1342-1350.

Thompson, J. and Smeeding, T. (2013) U.S. country case study, in Jenkins, S., Bandolini, A. Micklewright, J. and Nolan, B. (Eds), The Great Recession and the Distribution of Household Income. New York: Oxford University Press, 202-233.

Wolfe, E.N. (forthcoming) The asset price meltdown and household wealth over the great recession in the United States, in Bishop, J.A. and Rodriguez J.G. (Eds) Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 22.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN: 2254-4380