The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors

49 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2008

See all articles by David Bjerk

David Bjerk

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 15, 2007

Abstract

The nature of racial wage inequality appears to differ across occupation sectors. Specifically, I find that all of the racial wage inequality in the white-collar job sector can be accounted for by controlling for the academic skill level of each worker, but almost half of the overall racial wage inequality remains in the blue-collar sector after controlling for each worker's academic skill. Relatedly, after controlling for academic skill, I find that black workers are actually more likely to work in the white-collar sector than white workers. I show that these findings are consistent, and arguably directly implied by, both preference based and statistical based models of discrimination. However, omitted variable bias and measurement error also cannot be ruled out as possible explanations.

Keywords: Discrimination, racial wage inequality, signaling

JEL Classification: J15, J71, J31

Suggested Citation

Bjerk, David, The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors (January 15, 2007). Journal of Human Resources, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1273304

David Bjerk (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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