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The Organizational Demography of Racial Employment Segregation

  • SORENSEN, JESPER
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    This article examines how workers respond to changes in the racial composition of their workplaces. An analysis of the job histories of new hires into multiple workgroups within a single firm reveals path dependence in the effects of group composition on turnover. Exit rates are inversely related to the level of same-race representation at the time of organizational entry, and increase when workers experience declines in representation. However, turnover rates do not decline in response to increases in representation. The challenge of workplace racial integration therefore lies not simply in eliminating discrimination in hiring, but also in managing the post-hire dynamics of changes in group composition. Implications of the asymmetric effects of compositional change for the literature on organizational demography are also discussed.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/3503
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    Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 4300-03.

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    Date of creation: 02 May 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:3503
    Contact details of provider: Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
    Phone: 617-253-2659
    Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/

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    Order Information: Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

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    1. Carrington, William J & Troske, Kenneth R, 1998. "Interfirm Segregation and the Black/White Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 231-60, April.
    2. W. Clark, 1991. "Residential preferences and neighborhood racial segregation: A test of the schelling segregation model," Demography, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 1-19, February.
    3. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
    5. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
    6. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Why Are Racial And Ethnic Wage Gaps Larger For Men Than For Women? Exploring The Role Of Segregation Using The New Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Labor and Demography 9902002, EconWPA.
    7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
    8. Ted Mouw, 2002. "Are black workers missing the connection? The effect of spatial distance and employee referrals on interfirm racial segregation," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 507-528, August.
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