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The Measured Black-White Wage Gap among Women Is Too Small

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  • Derek Neal

Abstract

Existing work suggests that black-white gaps in potential wages are much larger among men than women and further that black-white differences in patterns of female labor supply are unimportant. However, panel data on wages and income sources demonstrate that the modal young black woman who does not engage in market work is a single mother receiving government aid whereas her white counterpart is a married mother receiving support from a working spouse. The median black-white gap in log potential wages among young adult women in 1990 was likely at least 60 percent larger than the gap implied by reported earnings and hours worked in the Current Populations Surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:s1:p:s1-s28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Umbeck, John, 1980. "Shipping the Good Apples Out: Some Ambiguities in the Interpretation of "Fixed Charge"," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 199-208, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Derek Neal, 2001. "The Economics of Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 8519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. 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, EconWPA.
    8. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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