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Interfirm Segregation and the Black/White Wage Gap

  • Kenneth R Troske
  • William J Carrington

This paper studies interfirm racial segregation in two newly developed firm-level databases. Within the representative MSA, we find that the interfirm distribution of black and white workers is close to what would be implied by the random assignment of workers to firms. However, we also find that black workers are systematically clustered in "black" employers where managers, owners, and customers are also black. These facts may be reconciled by the facts that a) there are not enough black employers to generate much segregation and that b) perhaps other difficult-to-identify forces serve to systematically integrate black and white workers. Finally, we find that the black/white wage gap is entirely a within-firm phenomenon, as blacks do not work in firms that pay low wages on average.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/1996/CES-WP-96-06.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 96-6.

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Date of creation: Aug 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:96-6
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  1. James F. Ragan & Carol Horton Tremblay, 1988. "Testing for Employee Discrimination by Race and Sex," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 123-137.
  2. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 3778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Higgs, Robert, 1977. "Firm-Specific Evidence on Racial Wage Differentials and Workforce Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 236-45, March.
  4. Timothy Bates, 1988. "Do black-owned businesses employ minority workers? new evidence," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 51-64, March.
  5. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
  6. William J. Carrington & Kenneth R. Troske, 1995. "Gender Segregation in Small Firms," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 503-533.
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