Wage Gaps and Demographic Behavior

1555 Words Jun 25th, 2018 7 Pages
Wage Gaps and Demographic Behavior
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We examine the possible sources of the larger racial and ethnic wage gaps for men than for women in the U.S. Specifically, using a newly created employer-employee matched data set containing workers in essentially all occupations, industries, and regions, we examine whether these wage differences can be accounted for by differences between men and women in the patterns of racial and ethnic segregation within occupation, industry, establishments and occupation-establishment cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to examine segregation by race and ethnicity at the level of establishment and job cell. Our results indicate that greater segregation between
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In this paper we examine more closely the possible sources of the differences in the wage gap, paying particular attention to whether these differences can be accounted for by differences between men and women in the patterns of racial and ethnic segregation.(3) More generally, we believe that research on why racial and ethnic wage gaps differ by sex may ultimately prove useful in helping to understand the sources of these gaps. For example, if one believes that the observed wage differentials are the result of employer or customer discrimination (e.g., Darity and Mason, 1998) then one needs to try to explain why this discrimination is apparently more severe with respect to male employees. In general, if one believes that some other unmeasured characteristic is responsible for these wage differences, then evidence that this characteristic is more important for men than for women would bolster one's case.

This inquiry fits into an extensive literature on the role of segregation in generating racial, ethnic, and sex differences in labor markets, but takes this literature in a new direction. In the literature on sex differences in wages, considerable attention has focused on the role of occupational segregation, in particular the concentration of women in low-wage occupations (e.g., Johnson and Solon, 1986; Sorensen, 1989; Macpherson and

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