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