Working Paper 2011-231
The goal of this study was to use census information to measure the level of occupational segregation of workers of African descent compared to whites in various Latin American countries. I further investigated the extent to which segregation levels can be accounted for by different factors, such as the impact of black-white inequalities on years of schooling or different age structures of the racial groups that are unevenly distributed across the countries. The results show that Afro-Latinos are generally highly segregated across occupations. However, while a large proportion of this segregation would not exist in Brazil and Ecuador if Afro-Latinos had attained the same education as whites, the proportion of occupational segregation explained by educational inequalities is much lower in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. Further, occupational segregation would be even higher in most cases if the geographical distribution of black and white populations were similar across these countries.