Unequal Returns to Race, Gender, and Immigration Status: Estimating Wage Distributions across Local Labour Markets

Jamie Goodwin-White, University of California, Los Angeles

How are relative returns to individual and group characteristics conditioned in and between metropolitan labor markets? What does this tell us about the structures of localized labor queues, and whether one’s individual characteristics would conceivably be rewarded (either absolutely or relatively) better somewhere else? Can we think of local labor markets as some sort of treatment effect on workers wages? What does the shape of local wage distributions have to do with the prospects of different categories of workers? In this paper, I employ PUMS and CPS data from the last two decades in a series of metropolitan-level quantile decompositions to estimate the patterns of gender, racial, and nativity wage gaps as well as the extent of between-group and within-group inequality. Preliminary results show that wage gaps vary significantly between places in their local constitution when estimating quantiles across entire metropolitan-area distributions.

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Presented in Session 156: Gender, Family, and Careers