Menu Close

Racial Wage Inequality: Job Segregation and Devaluation across U.S. Labor Markets

Citation

Huffman, Matt L. & Cohen, Philip N. (2004). Racial Wage Inequality: Job Segregation and Devaluation across U.S. Labor Markets. American Journal of Sociology, 109(4), 902-936.

Abstract

Despite decades of research showing greater black-white inequality in local areas where the black population is relatively large, little is known about the mechanisms for this effect. Using a unique data set of individuals nested within jobs across labor markets, this article tests two possible mechanisms for the black concentration effect on wage inequality: job segregation and devaluation. Results show that black population size is associated with greater segregation of black workers into black-dominated jobs. On the other hand, no evidence is found that the penalty for working in a black-dominated job (the devaluation effect) increases as a function of black population size. The article concludes that discrimination against workers—especially exclusion from better-paying jobs—is an important mechanism for the effect of black population size on the racial wage gap.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/378928

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2004

Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology

Author(s)

Huffman, Matt L.
Cohen, Philip N.