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Abstract

This article reports findings of a study using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) to test the rational choice theory that discrimination discourages investments in human capital. Nearly 60% of the study sample (N=5585) reported job-hiring discrimination (race, nationality, sex, or age) between 1979 and 1982 and they were found to invest more in job training programs and additional schooling between 1983 and 1998 than those reporting no such discrimination. White males were found to have the greatest advantage over black males and females in regard to job training and over black females in regard to additional schooling. Findings suggest that appeals to affirmative action policies and programs based on race and sex remain warranted.

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