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Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Greg J. Duncan


This article uses a new data set to investigate the extent to which differences in work history, on-the-job training, absenteeism, and self-imposed restrictions on work hours and location account for wage differences between the sexes and races. As expected, white men generally had more education and training and less absenteeism and fewer restrictions than black men and women of both races. Contrary to past studies, the proportionate wage payoff on the qualification measures are virtually identical for the four race/sex subgroups. The average differences in qualifications, however, explained less than one-third, one-half, and three-fifths of the wage gaps between white men and black women, white women, and black men, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:14:y:1979:i:1:p:3-20

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