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Against All Odds: The Surprising Labor Market Success of Young Mexican Women

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  • Heather Antecol
  • Kelly Bedard

Abstract

Using the NLSY, we find that young Mexican women earn 11.7% less than young White women while young Black women earn 19.2% less than young White women. Although young Mexican women earn less than young White women, they do surprisingly well compared to young Black women. We show that while it is crucially important to account for actual labor market experience, it does not matter if we account for childbirth patterns, and non-linearities in the experience profile. We further show that low labor force attachment is the most important determinant of the Black-White wage differential for young women while education is the most important explanation for the Mexican-White wage gap for young women.

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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers with number 26.

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Length: 20 pages
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Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:26

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  1. Mora, Marie T & Davila, Alberto, 1998. "Gender, Earnings, and the English Skill Acquisition of Hispanic Workers in the United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 631-44, October.
  2. Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Intergenerational Progress of Mexican-Origin Workers in the U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  3. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
  4. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  5. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  6. Gilles Grenier, 1984. "The Effects of Language Characteristics on the Wages of Hispanic-American Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 35-52.
  7. Gregory Defreitas, 1986. "A Time-Series Analysis of Hispanic Unemployment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 24-43.
  8. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-30, April.
  9. Phipps, S.A. & Burton, P. & Lethbridge, L., 1998. "In and Out of the Labour Market: Long-Term Income Consequences of Interruptions in Paid Work," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 98-03, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  10. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  11. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
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