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The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors

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  • David Bjerk

Abstract

The nature of racial wage inequality appears to differ across occupation sectors. Specifically, I find that all of the racial wage inequality in the white-collar job sector can be accounted for by controlling for the academic skill level of each worker, but almost half of the overall racial wage inequality remains in the blue-collar sector after controlling for each worker’s academic skill. Relatedly, after controlling for academic skill, I find that black workers are actually more likely to work in the white-collar sector than white workers. I show that these findings are consistent, and arguably directly implied by, both preference-based and statistical-based models of discrimination. However, omitted variable bias and measurement error also cannot be ruled out as possible explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • David Bjerk, 2007. "The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i2:p398-434
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moro, Andrea & Norman, Peter, 2003. "Affirmative action in a competitive economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 567-594, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Klumpp, Tilman & Su, Xuejuan, 2013. "Second-order statistical discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 108-116.
    2. Conrad Frederick G. & Couper Mick P. & Sakshaug Joseph W., 2016. "Classifying Open-Ended Reports: Factors Affecting the Reliability of Occupation Codes," Journal of Official Statistics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 32(1), pages 75-92, March.
    3. Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Aurel Hizmo, 2010. "Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 76-104, October.
    4. Romain Aeberhardt & Élise Coudin & Roland Rathelot, 2017. "The heterogeneity of ethnic employment gaps," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 307-337, January.
    5. Tran, Tuyen Quang & Tran, Anh Lan & Pham, Thai Minh & Van Vu, Huong, 2018. "Local governance and occupational choice among young people: First evidence from Vietnam," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 21-31.
    6. Tsunao Okumura & Emiko Usui, 2016. "Intergenerational Transmission of Skills and Differences in Labor Market Outcomes for Blacks and Whites," Research in Labor Economics,in: Inequality: Causes and Consequences, volume 43, pages 227-286 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    7. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2012. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 959-1006, December.
    8. Robert Wells & Roger Ham & P. N. (Raja) Junankar, 2016. "An examination of personality in occupational outcomes: antagonistic managers, careless workers and extraverted salespeople," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 636-651, February.
    9. Dipanwita Sarkar & Michael Kidd, 2016. "The impact of endogenous occupational attainment on native-migrant wage distributions," QuBE Working Papers 042, QUT Business School.
    10. Merlino, Luca Paolo, 2012. "Discrimination, technology and unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 557-567.
    11. Ham, Roger & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja) & Wells, Robert, 2009. "Occupational Choice: Personality Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 4105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Castro Campos, Bente, 2013. "Human capital differences or labor market discrimination? The occupational outcomes of ethnic minorities in rural Guizhou (China)," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 73, number 73.
    13. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2014. "The Importance of Cost of Living and Education in Estimates of the Conditional Wage Gap Between Black and White Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 695-722.
    14. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1032-1053 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Nicole Coomer, 2015. "An Investigation of the Historical Black Wage Premium in Nursing," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 323-335, December.
    16. Bond, Timothy N. & Lehmann, Jee-Yeon K., 2018. "Prejudice and racial matches in employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 271-293.
    17. Ham, Roger & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja) & Wells, Robert, 2009. "Antagonistic Managers, Careless Workers and Extraverted Salespeople: An Examination of Personality in Occupational Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 4193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. A Aggarwal & R Freguglia & G Johnes & G Spricigo, 2011. "Education and labour market outcomes : evidence from India," Working Papers 615663, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    19. Castro Campos, Bente, 0. "Official Ethnic Labels and Non-Agricultural Work in Guizhou (China)," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 53.

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