IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Poverty among minorities in the United States: Explaining the racial poverty gap for Blacks and Latinos

  • Carlos Gradin

    ()

    (Universidade de Vigo)

The two largest minorities in the United States, African Americans and people of Hispanic origin, show official poverty rates that are at least twice as high as those among non-Hispanic Whites. These similarly high poverty rates among minorities are, however, the result of different combinations of factors, due to the specific characteristics of these two groups. In this paper, we analyze the role of demographic and labor-related variables in explaining the current differential in poverty rates among racial and ethnic groups in the United States and its recent evolution. Our results show, first, that these differentials were largely explained by differing family characteristics of the ethnic groups. Furthermore, we show that while labor market activity of family members and a preponderance of single mothers played a more significant role in explaining the higher poverty rates of Blacks, a larger number of dependent children is more closely associated with higher poverty among Latinos, who also suffer from a larger educational attainment gap and higher immigration rates. Finally, we show that both racial poverty gaps declined during the 1990s, and, in the case of Latinos, the downward trend has continued through the present decade. This reduction in the differentials was fully explained by characteristics, mainly the labor market performance of family heads, while the unexplained differential (conditional racial poverty gap) proved to be more persistent across time.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2008-96.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 96.

as
in new window

Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2008-96
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2002. "Modelling Low Income Transitions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 288, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Gradín, Carlos, 2007. "Why Is Poverty So High Among Afro-Brazilians? A Decomposition Analysis of the Racial Poverty Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Vani K. Borooah & Sriya Iyer, 2002. "Vidya, Veda, and Varna: The Influence of Religion and Caste on Education in Rural India," ICER Working Papers 32-2002, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  5. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
  6. Ham, John C & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net during Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1117-42, December.
  7. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 1993. "The Decline of Private-Sector Unionism and the Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 279-296.
  8. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2001. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences Across Black, Mexican and White Men," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-35, Claremont Colleges.
  9. Borooah, Vani & Iyer, Sriya, 2005. "The Decomposition of Inter-Group Differences in a Logit Model: Extending the Oaxaca-Blinder Approach with an Application to School Enrolment in India," MPRA Paper 19418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2000. "Wage discrimination in Zambia: an extension of the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(6), pages 405-408.
  11. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2003. "Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Premarket Factors," NBER Working Papers 10068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "Decomposing Differences in the First Moment," IZA Discussion Papers 877, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Suits, Daniel B, 1984. "Dummy Variables: Mechanics v. Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 177-80, February.
  14. Martin Biewen & Stephen Jenkins, 2005. "A framework for the decomposition of poverty differences with an application to poverty differences between countries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 331-358, 09.
  15. Javier Gardeazabal & Arantza Ugidos, 2004. "More on Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1034-1036, November.
  16. Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun & Kunal Sen, 2002. "Caste, Ethnicity and Poverty in Rural India," Departmental Working Papers 200225, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  17. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  18. Even, William E. & Macpherson, David A., 1990. "Plant size and the decline of unionism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 393-398, April.
  19. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
  20. Vani K. Borooah, 2005. "Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 399-414, 08.
  21. Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1998. "Discrimination and detailed decomposition in a logit model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 115-120, October.
  22. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Pieter Bevelander & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2001. "Declining employment success of immigrant males in Sweden: Observed or unobserved characteristics?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 455-471.
  24. Francisco Rivera-Batiz & Myeong-Su Yun & Ira Gang, 2002. "Economic Strain, Ethnic Concentration and Attitudes Towards Foreigners in the European Union," Departmental Working Papers 200214, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  25. Bhaumik, Sumon K. & Gang, Ira N. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2006. "A Note on Decomposing Differences in Poverty Incidence Using Regression Estimates: Algorithm and Example," IZA Discussion Papers 2262, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Gomulka, Joanna & Stern, Nicholas, 1990. "The Employment of Married Women in the United Kingdom 1970-83," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(226), pages 171-99, May.
  27. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2008-96. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria Ana Lugo)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.