The Occupational Segregation of Black Women in the United States: A Look at its Evolution from 1940 to 2010
Based on detailed occupation titles and making use of measures that do not require pairwise comparisons among demographic groups, this paper shows that the occupational segregation of Black women declined dramatically in 1940-1980, decreased slightly in 1980-2000, and remained stagnant in 2000-2010. An important contribution of this paper is the quantification of the well-being losses that these women derive from their occupational sorting. The segregation reduction was indeed accompanied by well-being improvements, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Regarding the role that education has played, this study highlights that, only from 1990 onward, Black women with either some college or university degrees had lower segregation (as compared with their peers) than those with lower education. Nevertheless, the well-being loss that Black women with university degrees derived in 2010 for being segregated from their peers in education was not too different from that of Black women with lower education.
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