Black Unemployment and Infotainment

Economic Inquiry, Vol. 47, Issue 1, pp. 98-117, January 2009

20 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2009


Why has the black unemployment rate in the United States been more than twice that of whites over the past three decades? This article builds on earlier efforts to explain this conundrum using a discrimination framework, but it refocuses the explanation onto indirect cultural factors that motivate discriminatory behavior. Consistent with a call for using social phenomena to explain economic outcomes, the article reveals that infotainment (information and entertainment) contributes to increases in the black-white unemployment rate gap and to higher black unemployment.

JEL Classification: J164, J71, Z10

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Brooks B., Black Unemployment and Infotainment. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 47, Issue 1, pp. 98-117, January 2009, Available at SSRN: or

Brooks B. Robinson (Contact Author)


P.O. Box 8848
Honolulu, HI 96830-8848
United States


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