The Changing Ethno-Racial Gap in Family-Friendly ‘Fringe’ Benefits, 1997-2008

Justin R. Young, University of New Hampshire
Kristin Smith, University of New Hampshire

Little is known about disparities in fringe-benefit access and whether these gaps have changed in recent years. We test differences in such access among non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics using the three samples (1997, 2002, and 2008) of the National Survey of the Changing Workforce (NSCW). We test access to: employer-provided health insurance, paid vacation days, paid holidays, paid sick days, paid time off to care for a sick child, the ability to choose start/end times and to change full/part-time status. Our findings suggest that black workers have less access to paid sick days to care for a child and the ability to change start/end times, but human capital differences (including education and tenure) explain these gaps. These factors also explain Hispanics’ lower access to paid holidays, vacation days, and sick days, but not the white/Hispanic health insurance gap. These racial/ethnic disparities have remained unchanged since the late 1990s.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality