When U.S. Companies Drug Test, They Wind Up Hiring More Black People

Abigail Wozniak, a labor economist, has developed a model to show how the rise of employee drug testing in the U.S. has affected different populations. Where testing is prevalent, black employment increased between 7% and 30%, and wages for black workers increased by between 1.4% and 13%. That’s surprising because in America’s often-misguided war on drugs, black people tend to suffer disproportionately. There’s plenty of evidence that black and white Americans use illicit drugs at roughly the same rate. But despite that, there’s wide overestimation of black people’s drug use by everyone from police to hiring managers to young black people themselves.

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