Her findings are compelling and concerning.
In short, light-skinned persons earn more money on average than those with darker complexions.
Simple discrimination on that basis.
Professor Hersch studied government surveys for 2,084 legal immigrants to the U. S. from around the world. She discovered that those with the lightest skin earned on average 8 to 15% more than similar immigrants who were born with darker skin.
"On average," Dr. Hersch said, "being one shade lighter has about the same effect as having an additional year of education."
Interestingly, the study considered other factors in the analysis such as English language proficiency, education, occupation, and racial or national background. Even after controlling for race, it was clear that skin color mattered.
For example, for two immigrants from Bangladesh with the same abilities, occupations and backgrounds, the lighter-skinned person would make more money than the darker-skinned individual.
The last paragraph of the article seems telling:
"Although many cultures show a bias toward lighter skin, she [Dr. Hersch] said her analysis showed that the skin-color advantage was not based on preferential treatment for light-skinned people in their country of origin. The bias, she said, occurs in the United States."