Who Pays the Penalties? Earnings Effect of Ethnic Labor Market Concentration in Multi-Racial Metropolitan Contexts

Qingfang Wang, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

With the huge influx of immigrants to the United States, it is a well-observed phenomenon that a large number of ethnic minorities concentrate in a particular set of labor market sectors. Although considerable literature suggests that metropolitan contexts have significant effect on the job earnings of different racial and ethnic groups, there is a missing link between the metropolitan context and the earnings effect of ethnic niche employment. Using data from the 2000 Census data, this study deploys a multilevel research approach to compare job earnings of white, black, Hispanic and Asian workers in their respective niche and non-niche sectors, and to examine how the metropolitan urban labor market contexts influence these earnings. The findings show that engaging in ethnic niches is the main source of earnings inequalities among different ethnic groups and contextual conditions have great impacts on job earnings between ethnic niches and non-niches, and between different groups.

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Presented in Session 68: Race and Ethnic Inequality