Location of Repository

"Job Quality, Labor Market Segmentation, and Earning Inequality: Effects of Economic Restructuring in the 1980s by Race and Gender"

By Maury B. Gittleman and David R. Howell

Abstract

The authors examine the effects of employment restructuring in the 1980s on white, black, and Hispanic men and women within a labor market segmentation framework. Cluster analysis is used to determine whether jobs can be grouped into a small number of relatively homogeneous clusters on the basis of differences in job quality. With data centered on 1979, 621 occupation/ industry cells covering 94% of the workforce are analyzed with 17 measures of job quality, ranging from earnings and benefits to skill requirements and working conditions. The paper finds strong support for dual and tripartite schemes that closely resemble those described, but never satisfactorily verified, by the segmented labor market (SLM) literature of the 1970s: the "primary" (independent and subordinate) and "secondary" segments. But the findings also show that each of these three large segments consists of two distinct and easily interpretable job clusters that are significantly different from one another in race and gender composition. The job structure has become more bifurcated in the 1980s, as "middle-class" jobs (the subordinate primary segment) declined sharply and the workforce was increasingly employed in either the best (independent primary) or the worst (secondary) jobs. White women became much more concentrated at the top, while white men and black and Hispanic women were redistributed to both ends of the job structure. Black and Hispanic men, however, increased their presence only in the two secondary job clusters. Meanwhile, the quality of secondary jobs declined considerably, at least as measured by earnings, benefits, union coverage, and involuntary part-time employment. As these results would suggest, the paper research found that earnings differentials by cluster, controlling for education and experience, increased in the 1980s. The male and female wage gap also increased, as did the portion of these increasing differentials that were accounted for by changes in the distribution of racial groups among clusters.

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1979). A Factor Analytic Test of the Theory of the Dual Economy,
  2. (1985). A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory."
  3. (1992). Accounting for the Slowdown in Black-White Wage Convergence," in Workers and Their Waees: Changing Patterns in the United States, Edited by Marvin H.
  4. (1975). An Empirical Study of Labor Market Segmentation,"
  5. An Empirical Study of Labor Market Segmentation: Reply,"
  6. (1986). And Lawrence Summers, "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy, Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment,"
  7. (1992). Black Women's Economic Progress,"
  8. (1988). Can Inter-Industry Wage Differentials Justify Strategic Trade Policy?,"
  9. (1980). Cluster Analvsis,
  10. (1979). Contested Terrain: The Transformation of the Workplace in the Twentieth Century,
  11. (1981). Defrocking Dualism: A New Approach to Defining Industrial Sectors,"
  12. (1992). Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations,"
  13. (1972). Education. Training and the Urban Ghetto,
  14. (1980). Employment Status Unemolovment: percent not currently employed who are looking for work,
  15. (1989). From Segmentation to Flexibility," Labour and Societv,
  16. (1977). GED: general educational development, 1966-74, a measure of reading, math and reasoning requirements on a scale of l-6. Dictionary of Occupational Titles,
  17. (1979). Hours: usual hours worked per week,
  18. (1991). Industrial Shifts, Skill Levels, and the Labor Market for White and Black Males,
  19. (1987). Industry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics,"
  20. (1978). Institutional Setting Union: percent members of a labor union, 1978-80. Current Population Survey,
  21. (1971). Internal Labor Markets and ManDower Analysis,
  22. (1978). Involuntarv Part-Time: percent working part-time who want full-time jobs, 1978-80. Current Population Survey,
  23. (1991). Labor Market Segmentation Theory: Reconsidering the Evidence," manuscript,
  24. (1987). Labor Market Segmentation: A Cluster Analysis of Job Groupings and Barriers to Entry,"
  25. (1988). Labor Markets and Wage Determination: Then and Now,"
  26. (1980). Male Occupational Standing and the Dual Labor Market,"
  27. (1990). Methodology in the 'Job Quality' Debate," Industrial Relations,
  28. (1979). Mismatches and the Urban Labor Market," manuscript, The Urban Institute,
  29. (1991). n w The American Prospect,
  30. (1980). Pension: percent included in pension plan at work, 1979-81. Current Population Survey,
  31. (1979). Public: percent employed in the public sector,
  32. (1980). Segmentation in the U.S. Labor Market: Its Effects on the Mobility and Earnings of Whites and Blacks,"
  33. (1990). Segmented Labor Markets: New Evidence from a Study of Four Race-Gender Groups, Industrial and Labor Relations Review,
  34. (1984). Segmented labour: Time Series Evidence Hypotheses and Evidence,"
  35. (1982). Segmented Work, Divided Workers: The Historical Transformation of Labour in the United States, Cambridge:
  36. (1977). Strength: a measure of the strength required on the job from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles
  37. (1976). The Challenge of Segmented Labor Market Theory to Orthodox Theory,"
  38. (1987). The Distribution of Earnings and Employment Opportunities: A Re-examination of the Evidence,"
  39. (1986). The Great American Job Machine: The Proliferation of Low Wage Employment in the U.S. Economy," Report prepared for the Joint Economic Committee,
  40. (1991). The Myth of the Coming Labor Shortage," Economic Policy Institute,
  41. (1970). The Tripartite Economy: Labor Markets and the Working Poor,"
  42. These variables were not included in the cluster analysis. Education is measured as the highest year attended. Full-time is the share of workers with at least 1750 hours of work in
  43. (1991). Trends in the Growth and Distribution of Skills in the U.S. Workplace, 1960-1985," Industrial and Labor Relations Review,
  44. (1992). What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980's,"
  45. (1991). Why Black Men Are Doing Worse In the Labor Market: A Review of Supply-Side and Demand-Side Explanations," Social Science Research Council,
  46. (1991). Why Were Poverty Rates So High in the 198Os?",
  47. (1977). Working Conditions Phvs: physical demands, a factor analytic measure of eye-hand coordination, climbing, stooping and on-the-job hazards that ranges from 0 to 10, 1966-74. Derived from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.