SOLUTION: ECON 101 University of Michigan Reduce Racial Inequality Raise Minimum Wage Essay

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Writing Assignment 2: DUE OCTOBER 30 by 2 PM PDT on Canvas.
Purpose: In this assignment, you will read the opinions piece, “To Reduce Racial Inequality,
Raise the Minimum Wage.” You will critically analyze the arguments made in the article using
the economic concepts you have learned in class.
1. Describe the main arguments of the opinion piece in a short paragraph. How do the
authors argue that the increase in (and expansion of) the minimum wage in 1966 reduced
the racial wage gap?
2. The article briefly touches on the potential for increases in the minimum wage to reduce
the number of low-wage jobs available. Suppose there was a small reduction in the
number of jobs available for low-skill workers after the minimum wage increase in 1966.
What race of workers would have been more likely to be unemployed after the minimum
wage change? First, think through this question under the assumption of preference-based
discrimination against Black workers. Second, think through the question if there was no
preference-based discrimination, but employers used education level as a signal for
expected productivity. You may find the census_educationbyrace.pdf file in the
assignment instructions on Canvas to be helpful in addressing this second question. Be
sure to explain your reasoning.
3. Many of the occupations affected by the minimum wage have little room for mobility
(i.e. it is rare for a low-skill, low-wage employee at a restaurant or hospital to eventually
become a high-skill, high-paid administrator without making a big investment in their
skills such as by going back to school). Assume there is non-zero cost to investing in
skills. How does an increase in the minimum wage affect the return of investing in skills
and moving out of low-skill sectors? How would this impact the long-term effects of a
minimum wage increase? Provide a separate argument for how an increase in the
minimum wage might increase low-skilled workers’ ability to move into high-skill
4. Revise your draft.
• Check: does each paragraph express one clear idea? Do you tell the reader what
that idea is in a topic sentence?
• Print your draft and read it out loud to help you identify spots where the language
or ideas could be clearer.
• Ask a friend or relative who is NOT in this class to proofread your essay. If you
have someone read over your essay, please mention who did so at the end of your
essay, e.g. “My friend Carla read my essay.”
• If you read outside of the referenced article to assist you with this assignment,
please cite it using the format of your choice.
Format: You need to write using the APA general guidelines for racial and ethnic identity
(posted as APA_Racial and Ethnic Identity.pdf in the assignment instructions on Canvas). We
encourage you to read the guidelines, but most pertinently to this assignment, do not use
“whites” and “blacks”, but rather White people (or workers, Americans, etc.) or Black people.
You have 600 words to say everything you want to say. Write freely and then revise to express
your ideas clearly and concisely. Note that Turnitin can give us a slightly different page count
than Word or .pdf files, so you should aim for a 650 word count maximum to be safe (we will
take off points if Turnitin has you listed as more than 700 words regardless of what your Word
doc count says! Sorry, there is no way for you to check this or for us to do it beforehand.). There
is no need to include your name, PID, headers, titles – stick to the economics.
You must submit a .pdf or .doc file. We are unable to read any other file extension and you will
receive no points for the assignment.
You do not need to write an introduction or conclusion. Be sure that each paragraph states its
focus in a topic sentence.
You can write in the 1st person, using “I” statements (e.g. “I was surprised by what the test
To make it easier for us to read, use Times New Roman 12 point font with double-spaced lines
and 1.25-inch margins.
Grading: The graders will follow the below rubric. There is no partial credit within any of the
Step 1: article summary
Step 2: unemployment effects
Step 3: mobility
Step 4: legibility
4 pts: summarize the article
4 pts: how did the minimum wage reduce
the racial wage gap?
2 pts: preference-based: which race is
2 pts: preference-based explanation
2 pts: education: which race is
2 pts: education explanation
2 pts: how is return affected?
2 pts: what is long-term impact?
4 pts: increased mobility argument
2 pts: formatted correctly
2 pts: within 500-700 words (including
headers, footnotes, works cited),
4 pts: turned in before 2PM deadline (if
turned in past 5PM, additional points can
be taken off)
Regrading Policy: The graders will leave detailed comments on your essay explaining where
and why you lost points. You can visit any of the teaching assistants’ office hours to go over
those comments in more detail if you would like further clarification. Teaching assistants are not
available to provide feedback via email.
Alyssa will go over the main points of the essay in lecture on November 3. If you believe you
lost points in error, you can submit a regrade request to her email ( until
November 10. In this request you need to state which step you think you deserve more points on
and why. By submitting a request, you agree to wager half of the lost points, such that if she
denies your request she will take those points off your essay.
For example, suppose you receive 6/8 points on Step 2 because your argument explaining your
answer for the preference-based racial wage gap was unclear. If you submit a regrade request for
those 2 lost points, and she rereads your essay and cannot find a good explanation, she will
deduct 1 point so you receive 5/8 points on Step 2.
Given this penalty, you should only submit requests for grades that you are confident were
made in error. We will not tell you via email whether you should submit a request.
Figure 4.1
Educational Attainment, by Race and
Hispanic Origin: 1960 to 1998
Completed 4 Years of High School or More
Percent of persons 25 years old and over
Completed 4 Years of College or More
Percent of persons 25 years old and over
NA Not available. 1High school graduate or more. 2College graduate or more.
Note: Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Source: Chart prepared by U.S. Census Bureau. For data, see Table 263.
160 Education
U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1999
Racial and Ethnic Identity
Home Style and Grammar Guidelines
Racial and Ethnic Identity
Bias-Free Language
Racial and Ethnic Identity
for talking about racial and ethnic identity with
Racial and ethnic
identity is covered
in Section 5.7 of the
APA Publication
Manual, Seventh
inclusivity and respect.
When you are writing, you need to follow general
principles (/style-grammar-guidelines/bias-freelanguage/general-principles) to ensure that your
language is free of bias. Here we provide guidelines
Terms used to refer to racial and ethnic groups
continue to change over time. One reason for this is
simply personal preference; preferred designations
This guidance has been
are as varied as the people they name. Another
expanded from the 6th
reason is that designations can become dated over
time and may hold negative connotations. When
describing racial and ethnic groups, be appropriately
specific and sensitive to issues of labeling as
described in general principles for reducing bias
(/style-grammar-guidelines/bias-free-language/generalprinciples) .
Racial and Ethnic Identity
Race refers to physical differences that groups and
cultures consider socially significant. For example, people
might identify their race as Aboriginal, African American or
Black, Asian, European American or White, Native
American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Māori, or
some other race. Ethnicity refers to shared cultural
characteristics such as language, ancestry, practices, and
beliefs. For example, people might identify as Latino or
another ethnicity. Be clear about whether you are referring
to a racial group or to an ethnic group. Race is a social
construct that is not universal, so one must be careful not
to impose racial labels on ethnic groups. Whenever
possible, use the racial and/or ethnic terms that your
participants themselves use. Be sure that the racial and
ethnic categories you use are as clear and specific as
possible. For example, instead of categorizing participants
as Asian American or Hispanic American, you could use
more specific labels that identify their nation or region of
origin, such as Japanese American or Cuban American.
Use commonly accepted designations (e.g., census
categories) while being sensitive to participants’ preferred
Spelling and Capitalization of Racial and Ethnic
Racial and ethnic groups are designated by proper nouns
and are capitalized. Therefore, use “Black” and “White”
instead of “black” and “white” (do not use colors to refer to
other human groups; doing so is considered pejorative).
Likewise, capitalize terms such as “Native American,”
“Hispanic,” and so on. Capitalize “Indigenous” and
“Aboriginal” whenever they are used. Capitalize
Racial and Ethnic Identity
“Indigenous People” or “Aboriginal People” when referring
to a specific group (e.g., the Indigenous Peoples of
Canada), but use lowercase for “people” when describing
persons who are Indigenous or Aboriginal (e.g., “the
authors were all Indigenous people but belonged to
different nations”).
Do not use hyphens in multiword names, even if the
names act as unit modifiers (e.g., write “Asian American
participants,” not “Asian-American participants”). If people
belong to multiple racial or ethnic groups, the names of
the specific groups are capitalized, but the terms
“multiracial,” “biracial,” “multi-ethnic,” and so on are
Terms for Specific Groups
Designations for specific ethnic and racial groups are
described next. These groups frequently are included in
studies published in APA journals; the examples provided
are far from exhaustive but illustrate some of the
complexities of labeling.
People of African Origin
When writing about people of African ancestry, several
factors inform the appropriate terms to use. People of
African descent have widely varied cultural backgrounds,
family histories, and family experiences. Some will be from
Caribbean islands, Latin America, various regions in the
United States, countries in Africa, or elsewhere. Some
American people of African ancestry prefer “Black,” and
others prefer “African American”; both terms are
acceptable. However, “African American” should not be
Racial and Ethnic Identity
used as an umbrella term for people of African ancestry
worldwide because it obscures other ethnicities or
national origins, such as Nigerian, Kenyan, Jamaican, or
Bahamian; in these cases use “Black.” The terms “Negro”
and “Afro-American” are outdated; therefore, their use is
generally inappropriate.
People of Asian Origin
When writing about people of Asian ancestry from Asia,
the term “Asian” is appropriate; for people of Asian
descent from the United States or Canada, the appropriate
term is “Asian American” or “Asian Canadian,”
respectively. It is problematic to group “Asian” and “Asian
American” as if they are synonymous. This usage
reinforces the idea that Asian Americans are perpetual
foreigners. “Asian” refers to Asians in Asia, not in the
United States, and should not be used to refer to Asian
Americans. The older term “Oriental” is primarily used to
refer to cultural objects such as carpets and is pejorative
when used to refer to people. To provide more specificity,
“Asian origin” may be divided regionally, for example, into
South Asia (including most of India and countries such as
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal), Southeast
Asia (including the eastern parts of India and countries
such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the
Philippines), and East Asia (including countries such as
China, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and North Korea, and
Taiwan). The corresponding terms (e.g., East Asian) can be
used; however, refer to the specific nation or region of
origin when possible.
People of European Origin
Racial and Ethnic Identity
When writing about people of European ancestry, the
terms “White” and “European American” are acceptable.
Adjust the latter term as needed for location, for example,
“European,” “European American,” and “European
Australian” for people of European descent living in
Europe, the United States, and Australia, respectively. The
use of the term “Caucasian” as an alternative to “White” or
“European” is discouraged because it originated as a way
of classifying White people as a race to be favorably
compared with other races. As with all discussions of race
and ethnicity, it is preferable to be more specific about
regional (e.g., Southern European, Scandinavian) or
national (e.g., Italian, Irish, Swedish, French, Polish) origin
when possible.
Indigenous Peoples Around the World
When writing about Indigenous Peoples, use the names
that they call themselves. In general, refer to an
Indigenous group as a “people” or “nation” rather than as
a “tribe.”
In North America, the collective terms “Native
American” and “Native North American” are acceptable
(and may be preferred to “American Indian”). “Indian”
usually refers to people from India. Specify the nation or
people if possible (e.g., Cherokee, Navajo, Sioux).
Hawaiian Natives may identify as “Native American,”
“Hawaiian Native,” “Indigenous Peoples of the
Hawaiian Islands,” and/or “Pacific Islander.”
In Canada, refer to the Indigenous Peoples collectively
as “Indigenous Peoples” or “Aboriginal Peoples”
(International Journal of Indigenous Health, n.d.);
Racial and Ethnic Identity
specify the nation or people if possible (e.g., People of
the First Nations of Canada, People of the First Nations,
or First Nations People; Métis; Inuit).
In Alaska, the Indigenous People may identify as
“Alaska Natives.” The Indigenous Peoples in Alaska,
Canada, Siberia, and Greenland may identify as a
specific nation (e.g., Inuit, Iñupiat). Avoid the term
“Eskimo” because it may be considered pejorative.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, refer to the
Indigenous Peoples collectively as “Indigenous
Peoples” and by name if possible (e.g., Quechua,
Aymara, Taíno, Nahuatl).
In Australia, the Indigenous Peoples may identify as
“Aboriginal People” or “Aboriginal Australians” and
“Torres Strait Islander People” or “Torres Strait Island
Australians.” Refer to specific groups when people use
these terms to refer to themselves (e.g., Anangu
Pitjantjatjara, Arrernte).
In New Zealand, the Indigenous People may identify as
“Māori” or the “Māori people” (the proper spelling
includes the diacritical macron over the “a”).
For information on citing the Traditional Knowledge or Oral
Traditions of Indigenous Peoples as well as the
capitalization of terms related to Indigenous Peoples, see
Section 8.9 of the Publication Manual.
People of Middle Eastern Origin
When writing about people of Middle Eastern and North
African (MENA) descent, state the nation of origin (e.g.,
Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel) when possible. In some
Racial and Ethnic Identity
cases, people of MENA descent who claim Arab ancestry
and reside in the United States may be referred to as
“Arab Americans.” In all cases, it is best to allow individuals
to self-identify.
People of Hispanic or Latinx Ethnicity
When writing about people who identify as Hispanic,
Latino (or Latinx, etc.), Chicano, or another related
designation, authors should consult with their participants
to determine the appropriate choice. Note that “Hispanic”
is not necessarily an all-encompassing term, and the labels
“Hispanic” and “Latino” have different connotations. The
term “Latino” (and its related forms) might be preferred by
those originating from Latin America, including Brazil.
Some use the word “Hispanic” to refer to those who speak
Spanish; however, not every group in Latin America
speaks Spanish (e.g., in Brazil, the official language is
Portuguese). The word “Latino” is gendered (i.e., “Latino”
is masculine and “Latina” is feminine); the use of the word
“Latin@” to mean both Latino and Latina is now widely
accepted. “Latinx” can also be used as a gender-neutral or
nonbinary term inclusive of all genders. There are
compelling reasons to use any of the terms “Latino,”
“Latina,” “Latino/a,” “Latin@,” and/or “Latinx” (see de Onís,
2017), and various groups advocate for the use of different
forms. Use the term(s) your participants or population uses;
if you are not working directly with this population but it is
a focus of your research, it may be helpful to explain why
you chose the term you used or to choose a more
inclusive term like “Latinx.” In general, naming a nation or
region of origin is preferred (e.g., Bolivian, Salvadoran, or
Racial and Ethnic Identity
Costa Rican is more specific than Latino, Latinx, Latin
American, or Hispanic).
Parallel Comparisons Among Groups
Nonparallel designations (e.g., “African Americans and
Whites,” “Asian Americans and Black Americans”) should
be avoided because one group is described by color,
whereas the other group is not. Instead, use “Blacks and
Whites” or “African Americans and European Americans”
for the former example and “Asian Americans and African
Americans” for the latter example. Do not use the phrase
“White Americans and racial minorities”; the rich diversity
within racial minorities is minimized when it is compared
with the term “White Americans.”
Avoiding Essentialism
Language that essentializes or reifies race is strongly
discouraged and is generally considered inappropriate.
For example, phrases such as “the Black race” and “the
White race” are essentialist in nature, portray human
groups monolithically, and often perpetuate stereotypes.
Writing About “Minorities”
To refer to non-White racial and ethnic groups collectively,
use terms such as “people of color” or “underrepresented
groups” rather than “minorities.” The use of “minority” may
be viewed pejoratively because it is usually equated with
being less than, oppressed, or deficient in comparison with
the majority (i.e., White people). Rather, a minority group is
a population subgroup with …
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