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The Measured Black-White Wage Gap among Women Is Too Small

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  • Derek Neal

Abstract

Existing work suggests that black-white gaps in potential wages are much larger among men than women and further that black-white differences in patterns of female labor supply are unimportant. However, panel data on wages and income sources demonstrate that the modal young black woman who does not engage in market work is a single mother receiving government aid whereas her white counterpart is a married mother receiving support from a working spouse. The median black-white gap in log potential wages among young adult women in 1990 was likely at least 60 percent larger than the gap implied by reported earnings and hours worked in the Current Populations Surveys.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 112 (2004)
Issue (Month): S1 (February)
Pages: S1-S28

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:s1:p:s1-s28

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  1. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  2. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Why Are Racial And Ethnic Wage Gaps Larger For Men Than For Women? Exploring The Role Of Segregation Using The New Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Labor and Demography 9902002, EconWPA.
  3. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  4. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Derek Neal, 2001. "The Economics of Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 8519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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