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Wage Dynamics and Racial and Ethnic Occupational Segregation Among Less-Educated Men in Metropolitan Labor Markets


  • Niki Dickerson Lockette

    () (Penn State University)

  • William E. Spriggs

    (Howard University)


Abstract We assess whether occupational segregation in metropolitan labor markets is associated with the wages of, and contributes to racial/ethnic wage disparities among, less-educated men. To measure occupational segregation in metropolitan low wage markets, we create a segregation index measuring segregation between white, black, and Latino male high school-only educated workers and high school dropouts in 95 metropolitan labor markets utilizing a unique dataset of the structural characteristics of the ninety-five largest US metropolitan labor markets. We use regression, fixed effects, and generalized least squares estimation techniques to test whether this index is associated with wages and racial wage inequality among these men. The analyses reveal that in metropolitan labor markets characterized by more racial and ethnic segmentation in the low wage market, wages are lower among black and Latino men in particular, and racial-ethnic wage disparities among similarly less-educated white, black, and Latino men are higher.

Suggested Citation

  • Niki Dickerson Lockette & William E. Spriggs, 2016. "Wage Dynamics and Racial and Ethnic Occupational Segregation Among Less-Educated Men in Metropolitan Labor Markets," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(1), pages 35-56, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:43:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s12114-015-9222-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s12114-015-9222-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2008. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 459-477, August.
    2. Niki Dickerson, 2002. "Is Racial Exclusion Gendered? The Role of Residential Segregation in the Employment Status of Black Women and Men in the US," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 199-208.
    3. Mason, Patrick L, 1999. "Male Interracial Wage Differentials: Competing Explanations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 261-299, May.
    4. Major G. Coleman, 2003. "Job Skill and Black Male Wage Discrimination," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(4), pages 892-906.
    5. Giorgio Topa, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 261-295.
    6. Mario Luis Small, 2007. "Racial Differences in Networks: Do Neighborhood Conditions Matter?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 320-343.
    7. Harry J. Holzer & Julia I. Lane & Lars Vilhuber, 2004. "Escaping Low Earnings: The Role of Employer Characteristics and Changes," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(4), pages 560-578, July.
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