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Mapping the occupational segregation of white women in the U.S.

Working Paper 2015-352


This paper seeks to investigate the occupational segregation of white women in the U.S. at the local labor market level, exploring whether the segregation of this group is a homogeneous phenomenon across the country or there are important disparities in the opportunities that these women meet with across American urban areas. An important contribution of this paper is that, apart from quantifying the extent of segregation it also assesses the consequences of that segregation taking into account the ”quality” of occupations that the group tends to fill or not to fill. The analysis shows that between 20% and 40% of white women working in a metropolitan area would have to shift occupations to achieve zero segregation in that area. Differences regarding the nature of that segregation are even stronger. In some metropolitan areas, the uneven distribution of white women across occupations brings them a per capita monetary gain of about 21% of the average wage of the area while in other metropolitan areas this group has a per capita loss of nearly 11%.

Authors: Olga Alonso-Villar, Coral del Rio.

Keywords: Occupational segregation, well-being, metropolitan areas, race, gender, U.S.
JEL: R23, J15, J16, J71, D63.