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Ethnicity, Language, and Workplace Segregation: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set

  • Judith K. Hellerstein
  • David Neumark

We describe the construction and assessment of a new matched employer-employee data set (the Decennial Employer-Employee Dataset, or DEED) that we have undertaken as a part of a broad research agenda to study segregation in the U.S. labor market. In this paper we examine the role of segregation by Hispanic ethnicity and language proficiency, contributing new, previously unavailable descriptive information on segregation along these lines, and evidence on the wage premia or penalties associated with this segregation. The DEED is much larger and more representative across regional and industry dimensions than previous matched data sets for the United States, and improvements along both of these dimensions are essential to isolating the importance of segregation by language and ethnicity in the workplace. Our empirical results reveal considerable segregation by Hispanic ethnicity and by English language proficiency. We find that Hispanic workers, but not white workers, suffer wage penalties from employment in a workplace with a large share of Hispanic workers, and even more so a large share of Hispanic workers with poor English language proficiency. In addition, we find that segregation of Hispanic workers among other Hispanics with similar English language proficiency does not reduce the penalties associated with poor own language skills.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9037.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Publication status: published as Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2003. "Ethnicity, Language, and Workplace Segregation: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ADRES, issue 71-72, pages 02, Juillet-D.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9037
Note: LS
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  1. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  2. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 2002. "Market Forces and Sex Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 353-380.
  3. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, May.
  4. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lubotsky, D., 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Papers 195, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Kenneth R Troske, 1995. "The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Working Papers 95-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Erica L. Groshen, 1987. "The structure of the female/male wage differential: is it who you are, what you do, or where you work?," Working Paper 8708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  10. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  11. Nathalie Greenan & Jacques Mairesse, 1999. "Using Employee Level Data in a Firm Level Econometric Study," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-12, CIRANO.
  12. Cockburn, Iain & Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Market's Valuation of R&D and Patents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 419-23, May.
  13. Darren Lubotsky, 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Working Papers 824, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, March.
  15. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  16. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
  17. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  18. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David, 1999. "Sex, Wages, and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Israeli Firm-Level Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 95-123, February.
  19. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  20. repec:rus:hseeco:9982 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Barbara R. Bergmann, 1974. "Occupational Segregation, Wages and Profits When Employers Discriminate by Race or Sex," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 103-110, April.
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