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Race, Affirmative Action, and Women's Employment in US Highway Construction


  • Vivian Price


This paper analyzes employment hours, supplemented by interview data, from large highway construction sites in Boston, Los Angeles, and Oakland in the 1980s and 1990s. This study suggests that affirmative action positively affects the employment of women in construction and where there is more pressure, there are strongr results. Second, white women and women of color tend to work in trades that reflect the existing racial hierarchies among men. Therefore race as well as gender should be reflected in the design and measurement of the impacts of employment programs. Community organizing, advocacy for women and men of color, judicial oversight and positive efforts by unions and employers are still critical to bridging the gap between policy intentions and outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Vivian Price, 2002. "Race, Affirmative Action, and Women's Employment in US Highway Construction," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 87-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:8:y:2002:i:2:p:87-113
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700210167314

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jane HODGES-AEBERHARD, 1999. "Affirmative action in employment: Recent court approaches to a difficult concept," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 138(3), pages 247-272, September.
    2. Harry J. Holzer & David Neumark, 2000. "What Does Affirmative Action Do?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 240-271, January.
    3. Michael Greenacre, 2008. "Correspondence analysis of raw data," Economics Working Papers 1112, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2009.
    4. O'Farrell, Brigid, 1999. "Women in blue collar and related occupations at the end of the millennium," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 699-722.
    5. Timothy Bates & David Howell, 1998. "The Declining Status of Minorities in the New York City Construction Industry," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 12(1), pages 88-100, February.
    6. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1989. "Women and Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 61-75, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gunseli Berik & Cihan Bilginsoy, 2005. "Still a Wedge in the Door: Women Training for the Construction Trades in the U.S," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2005_05, University of Utah, Department of Economics.


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