Double Jeopardy or Compensating Disadvantage? The Interaction Effect of Gender and Race on Earnings in the U.S.

Emily Greenman, University of Michigan

Most researchers agree that being a member of a racial minority group and being female both represent significant disadvantages in the U.S. labor market. It follows that the labor market outcomes of minority women, who are disadvantaged on both counts, warrant special concern. Much previous research has assumed that the effects of gender and race on earnings are additive, and that minority women suffer the full disadvantage of each status. Yet empirically, it has been demonstrated that for a few groups, the earnings of minority women are not as low as would be predicted based on their race and sex alone. We test the assumption of additivity of race and gender effects for a broad range of minority groups in the U.S. Preliminary results indicate that women of all minority groups in the U.S. suffer a smaller gender penalty than white women, and a smaller race penalty than same-group minority men.

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Presented in Session 96: Gender and Earnings