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Racial differences in access to high-paying jobs and the wage gap between black and white women


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  • Deborah Anderson
  • David Shapiro
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    The authors examine the role that racial differences in access to high-paying occupations played in determining the racial wage gap in the 1980s. Analyzing data on black and white women aged 34-44 from the National Longitudinal Surveys for 1968-88, they estimate the effects of human capital characteristics and discrimination on segregation into high- and low-wage jobs by race. They find that differences in workers' measured characteristics explain little of either the observed occupational segregation by race or the racial wage gap in 1988. Further analysis suggests that several changes in the wage structure for women during the 1980s, notably a widening of occupational wage differentials and an increase in the returns to education, abetted direct discrimination in enlarging the racial wage gap among women. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 49 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 273-286

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:49:y:1996:i:2:p:273-286

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    Cited by:
    1. Graham, John W. & Smith, Steven A., 2005. "Gender differences in employment and earnings in science and engineering in the US," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 341-354, June.
    2. Angel Harris, 2010. "The Economic and Educational State of Black Americans in the 21st Century: Should We be Optimistic or Concerned?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 241-252, September.
    3. James Peoples, 1996. "Potential welfare gains from improving economic conditions in the inner city," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 207-212, December.
    4. Piazzalunga Daniela, 2011. "Un doppio svantaggio? Differenziali salariali sulla base del genere e dell'etnia," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers, University of Turin 201106, University of Turin.
    5. Schwieren,Christiane, 2003. "The gender wage gap – due to differences in efficiency wage effects or discrimination?," Research Memorandum 046, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    6. Chad R. Wilkerson & Megan D. Williams, 2006. "Minority workers in the Tenth District: rising presence, rising challenges," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 31-59.
    7. Houseworth, Christina & Fisher, Jonathan, 2011. "The Reverse Wage Gap among Educated White and Black Women," MPRA Paper 35827, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. John Graham & Steven Smith, 2004. "Looking for the next george washington carver: Explaining racial difference in employment and earnings in science and engineering in the United States," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 65-82, September.
    9. Piazzalunga, Daniela, 2013. "Is there a Double-Negative Effect? Gender and Ethnic Wage Differentials," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers, University of Turin 201337, University of Turin.
    10. Charles T. Carlstrom & Christy D. Rollow, 1998. "Regional variations in white-black earnings," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 10-22.


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