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Understanding why black women are not working longer

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  • Joanna Lahey

Abstract

Black women in current cohorts ages 50 to 72 years have lower employment than similar white women, despite having had higher employment when they were middle-aged and younger. Earlier cohorts of older black women also worked more than their white counterparts. Although it is not surprising that white women’s employment should catch up to that of black women given trends in increasing female labor force participation, it is surprising that it should surpass that of black women. This chapter discusses factors that contribute to this differential change over time. Changes in education, marital status, home-ownership, welfare, wealth, and cognition cannot explain this trend, whereas changes in occupation, industry, health, and gross motor functioning may explain some of the trend.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Lahey, 2016. "Understanding why black women are not working longer," NBER Working Papers 22680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22680
    Note: AG DAE LS PE
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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