IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Wage Gains of African-American Women in the 1940s


The weekly wage gap between black and white female workers narrowed by 15 percentage points during the 1940s. We employ a semi-parametric technique to decompose changes in the distribution of wages. We find that changes in worker characteristics (such as education, occupation and industry, and region of residence) can account for a significant portion of wage convergence between black and white women, but that changes in the wage structure, including large black-specific gains within regions, occupations, industries, and educational groups, made the largest contributions. The single most important contributing factor to the observed convergence was a sharp increase in the relative wages of service workers (where black workers were heavily concentrated) even as black women moved out of domestic service jobs.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 66 (2006)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 737-777

in new window

Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:66:y:2006:i:03:p:737-777_00
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
  2. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Goldin, Claudia D, 1991. "The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 741-56, September.
  5. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, December.
  7. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:66:y:2006:i:03:p:737-777_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.