IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Measured Black-White Wage Gap Among Women is Too Small

  • Derek Neal

Taken as a whole, the literature on black-white wage inequality suggests that racial gaps in potential wages are much larger among men than women, and further that one can accurately assess black-white gaps in potential wages among women without accounting for black-white differences in patterns of female labor supply. This paper challenges both pieces of this conventional wisdom. I provide several estimates of the black-white gap in potential wages for the year 1990 using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), a panel data set that includes persons born between 1957 and 1964. I exploit data on wages and income sources for years before and after 1990 to develop imputation methods that allow me to adjust measures of the black-white wage gap among women for racial differences in selection patterns. Among young adult employed women in 1990, the Census, Current Population Surveys, and NLSY data yield median log wage gaps of -.11, -16, and -.18 respectively. Based on several different imputation procedures, I estimate that the median black-white gap in log potential wages among women in the NLSY is approximately -.25.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9133.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Neal, Derek. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap Among Women Is Too Small," Journal of Political Economy, 2004, v112(2,Part2), S1-S28.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9133
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

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. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
  2. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  3. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  4. 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.
  5. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "School Quality and Black/White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," Working Papers 652, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Derek Neal, 2001. "The Economics of Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 8519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Labor Economics (ECON 431)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9133. 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: ()

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.