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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2022 Abstracts

Addressing Income Inequality between Latinx and non-Latinx Workers: an Econometric Approach using 2019 Census Data

Presenter: Adam Edwards
Authors: Adam Edwards
Faculty Advisor: Brandon Koford
Institution: Weber State University

Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race or ethnicity. Employers and managers report adhesion to this standard, but individuals not of the most common race know discrimination still happens. It is easy to dismiss such findings: perhaps other places discriminate, but "not my employer" or "not in our state." Citizens of the most common background need to know whether race has an impact on income, so they can then take action if there is an impact. Business owners and government leaders also need this information to hold their organizations and reports responsible. Where findings motivate leaders to reform, they may start tracking hiring practices and wages, rigorously comparing names and income of non-white individuals with white individuals. Potent motivation to social change is the realization that the status quo is unspeakably unfair to one's family, friends and fellow citizens. Did race have an impact on household income in Utah in 2019? I answer this question using 2019 API Census data, using ordinary least squares regression of individual income on race, state, population density, sex, age, industry and education. If I find Latinx heritage has a statistically significant impact on income in Utah, especially if this is true relative to other states, this may drive business owners and boards to improve. They could do this by recording and reviewing compensation data to ensure race doesn't impact wage.