Sunday, October 8, 2017

Are Law Degrees as Valuable to Minorities as to Caucasians?

According to this study, the answer is no. Here is the abstract:

We estimate the increase in earnings from a law degree relative to a bachelor’s degree for graduates of different race/ethnic groups. Law earnings premiums are higher for whites than for minorities (excluding individuals raised outside the U.S.). The median annual law earnings premium is approximately $41,000 for whites, $34,000 for Asians, $33,000 for blacks, and $28,000 for Hispanics. Law earnings premiums for whites, blacks and Hispanics have trended upward and appear to be gradually converging. Approximately 90 percent of law graduates are white compared to approximately 82 percent of bachelor’s degree holders.

From the conclusion:

After controlling for observable differences, we find that a law degree is associated with approximately an 80 percent increase in earnings for whites and a 60 to 70 percent increase for minorities such as blacks, Asians and Hispanics. The results are similar when looking only at men or only at women.

In addition, whites’ higher percentage premiums are multiplied by higher base earnings than  blacks’ or Hispanics’, such that in dollar terms the gaps are even more noticeable.

You can accesss the study here. Frank McIntyre & Michael Simkovic, Are Law Degrees As Valuable to Minorities? International Review of Law and Economics (forthcoming).


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