IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlabec/v22y2004i1p189-210.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Wages, Sorting on Skill, and the Racial Composition of Jobs

Author

Listed:
  • Barry T. Hirsch

    (Trinity University and IZA, Bonn)

  • David A. Macpherson

    (Florida State University)

Abstract

Wages for black and white workers are substantially lower in occupations with a high density of black employees, following standard controls. Such correlations can exist absent discrimination or as a result of discrimination. In wage level equations, partial correlations fall sharply after controlling for occupational skills. Longitudinal estimates accounting for worker heterogeneity indicate little wage change associated with changes in racial composition. Results support a "quality sorting" rather than discrimination explanation, with racial density serving as an index of unmeasured skills. Discrimination reflected in racial wage gaps occurs within occupations or across occupations in a manner uncorrelated with racial composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 2004. "Wages, Sorting on Skill, and the Racial Composition of Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 189-210, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:22:y:2004:i:1:p:189-210
    DOI: 10.1086/380407
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/380407
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1086/380407?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "Why are Racial and Ethnic Wage Gaps Larger for Men than for Women? Exploring the Role of Segregation," NBER Working Papers 6997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. B. T. Hirsch & D. A. Macpherson, "undated". "Wages, racial composition, and quality sorting in labor markets," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1038-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. B. T. Hirsch & D. A. Macpherson, "undated". "Wages, racial composition, and quality sorting in labor markets," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1038-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200.
    5. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1992. "Quantitative Literacy and the Likelihood of Employment among Young Adults in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 313-328.
    6. Silber, Jacques G., 1989. "On the measurement of employment segregation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 237-243, September.
    7. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
    8. Nicole M. Fortin & Michael Baker, 1999. "Women's Wages in Women's Work: A U.S./Canada Comparison of the Roles of Unions and "Public Goods" Sector Jobs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 198-203, May.
    9. Card, David & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Wage dispersion, returns to skill, and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 319-361, October.
    10. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    11. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
    12. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    13. Cook, Michael D & Evans, William N, 2000. "Families or Schools? Explaining the Convergence in White and Black Academic Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 729-754, October.
    14. Mason, Patrick L, 1999. "Male Interracial Wage Differentials: Competing Explanations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 261-299, May.
    15. Carrington, William J & Troske, Kenneth R, 1998. "Interfirm Segregation and the Black/White Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 231-260, April.
    16. William T. Dickens & Brian A. Ross, 1984. "Consistent Estimation Using Data From More Than One Sample," NBER Technical Working Papers 0033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Andrew M. Gill, 1989. "The Role of Discrimination in Determining Occupational Structure," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(4), pages 610-623, July.
    18. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-344, October.
    19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    20. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259, Elsevier.
    21. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-858, August.
    22. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
    23. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Why Are Racial And Ethnic Wage Gaps Larger For Men Than For Women? Exploring The Role Of Segregation Using The New Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Labor and Demography 9902002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
    25. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 1992. "Labor Earnings, Discrimination, and the Racial Composition of Jobs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 602-628.
    26. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-253, April.
    27. Randall K. Filer, 1986. "The Role of Personality and Tastes in Determining Occupational Structure," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(3), pages 412-424, April.
    28. William R. Johnson, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-277.
    29. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
    30. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mok, Wallace & Siddique, Zahra, 2009. "Racial Differences in Fringe Benefits and Compensation," IZA Discussion Papers 4435, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Romain Aeberhardt & Julien Pouget, 2007. "National Origin Wage Differentials in France," Working Papers 2007-03, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    3. John S. Heywood & Daniel Parent, 2012. "Performance Pay and the White-Black Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 249-290.
    4. Heinze, Anja, 2009. "Earnings of Men and Women in Firms with a Female Dominated Workforce: What Drives the Impact of Sex Segregation on Wages?," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-012, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    5. O. Alonso-Villar & C. Grad, 2013. "Occupational segregation of Hispanics in US metropolitan areas," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(30), pages 4298-4307, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Paola Salardi, 2016. "The Evolution of Gender and Racial Occupational Segregation Across Formal and Non‐Formal Labor Markets in Brazil, 1987 to 2006," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(S1), pages 68-89, August.
    8. Paul Frijters, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-1, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    9. Aeberhardt, Romain & Pouget, Julien, 2007. "National Origin Wage Differentials in France: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2779, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Boris Heizmann & Anne Busch-Heizmann & Elke Holst, 2017. "Immigrant Occupational Composition and the Earnings of Immigrants and Natives in Germany: Sorting or Devaluation?," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 475-505, June.
    11. Hipólito Simón & Esteban Sanromá & Raúl Ramos, 2008. "Labour segregation and immigrant and native-born wage distributions in Spain: an analysis using matched employer–employee data," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 135-168, June.
    12. Paul Frijters, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-1, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    13. Olga Alonso-Villar & Coral del Río & Carlos Gradín, 2010. "The extent of occupational segregation in the US: Differences by race, ethnicity, and gender," Working Papers 180, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    14. Tito Boeri & Marta De Philippis & Eleonora Patacchini & Michele Pelizzari, 2010. "Moving to Segregation: Evidence from 8 Italian cities," EIEF Working Papers Series 1109, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Apr 2011.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. B. T. Hirsch & D. A. Macpherson, "undated". "Wages, racial composition, and quality sorting in labor markets," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1038-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Patrick Bayer & Kerwin Kofi Charles, 2016. "Divergent Paths: Structural Change, Economic Rank, and the Evolution of Black-White Earnings Differences, 1940-2014," NBER Working Papers 22797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3143-3259 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Mason, Patrick L., 1997. "Race, culture, and skill: interracial wage differentials among African Americans, Latinos, and whites," MPRA Paper 11329, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap among Women Is Too Small," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 1-28, February.
    7. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2006. "Testing for Employee Discrimination in Britain using Matched Employer-Employee Data," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 8-2006, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    8. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Devah Pager & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2013. "Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 633-689.
    9. Jurajda, Štepán & Harmgart, Heike, 2004. "When Are ‘Female’ Occupations Paying More?," IZA Discussion Papers 985, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2006. "Using Matched Employer–Employee Data to Study Labor Market Discrimination," Chapters, in: William M. Rodgers III (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Discrimination, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Stephen L. Ross, 2003. "What Is Known about Testing for Discrimination: Lessons Learned by Comparing across Different Markets," Working papers 2003-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
    12. William J. Collins & Michael Q. Moody, 2017. "Racial Differences in American Women's Labor Market Outcomes: A Long-Run View," NBER Working Papers 23397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Paul Frijters, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-1, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    14. Jurajda, Stepan & Harmgart, Heike, 2007. "When do female occupations pay more?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 170-187, March.
    15. Héctor Cordero-Guzmán, 2001. "Cognitive skills, test scores, and social stratification: The role of family and school-level resources on racial/ethnic differences in scores on standardized tests (AFQT)," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 31-71, June.
    16. Celeste K. Carruthers & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2017. "Separate and Unequal in the Labor Market: Human Capital and the Jim Crow Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 655-696.
    17. Olivier Baguelin, 2005. "Understanding socio-demographic disparities in the labor market: the case for a motivation-based theory," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00196132, HAL.
    18. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "Why are Racial and Ethnic Wage Gaps Larger for Men than for Women? Exploring the Role of Segregation," NBER Working Papers 6997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Edward J. Schumacher & Marjorie L. Baldwin, 2000. "The American with Disabilities Act and the Labor Market Experience of Workers with Disabilities: Evidence from the SIPP," Working Papers 0013, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
    20. Chay, Kenneth Y. & Lee, David S., 2000. "Changes in relative wages in the 1980s Returns to observed and unobserved skills and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 1-38, November.
    21. Patrick Mason, 1997. "Race, culture, and skill: Interracial wage differences among African Americans, Latinos, and whites," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 5-39, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:22:y:2004:i:1:p:189-210. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.