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Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill

  • Judith K. Hellerstein

    (Department of Economics and MPRC, University of Maryland, and NBER)

  • David Neumark

    (University of California at Irvine, NBER, and IZA)

We study workplace segregation in the United States using a unique matched employer-employee data set that we have created. We present measures of workplace segregation by education and language, and by race and ethnicity, and we assess the role of education- and language-related skill differentials in generating workplace segregation by race and (Hispanic) ethnicity. Our results indicate that there is considerable segregation by race, ethnicity, education, and language in the workplace. Only a tiny portion of racial segregation in the workplace is driven by education differences between blacks and whites, but a substantial fraction of ethnic segregation in the workplace can be attributed to differences in English-language proficiency. Finally, additional evidence suggests that segregation by language likely reflects complementarity among workers speaking the same language. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 459-477

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:90:y:2008:i:3:p:459-477
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