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Gender and the new inequality: explaining the college/non-college wage gap

Опубликовано на портале: 29-05-2004
American Sociological Review. 2000.  Vol. 65. No. 2. P. 234-255. 
The new inequality is often characterized by the increasing wage gap between workers with a college education and those without. Yet, although the gap in hourly wages between college-educated and non-college-educated women is high and rising, the topic has been overshadowed by research on gender inequality and wage inequality among men. Using the 1990 5-percent Public Use Microdata Samples, independent sources of macro data, and controls for individual human capital characteristics, I examine the association between the college/non-college wage gap and key aspects of local economic conditions for women and men. While the college/non-college wage gap among women is comparable in size to the gap among men, significant gender differences emerge in the underlying sources of high wage gaps in over 500 labor markets across the United States. Compared with men, flexible and insecure employment conditions (e.g., joblessness, casualization, and immigration) are more important in fostering high wage gaps among women than are technology, trade, and industrial composition, the prevailing explanations of rising wage inequality over time. Based on these gender differences, I reconsider the debate on labor-market restructuring and inequality and discuss a new analytical focus on differences in within-gender inequality.
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