Stratification: Impact of Race, Gender and Ethnicity on Labor, Migration and Crime

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Wright
Hosted By: National Economic Association & American Society of Hispanic Economists
  • Chair: Miesha J. Williams, Morehouse College

Acculturation and the Labor Market in Mexico

Javier Cano-Urbina
Florida State University
Patrick Mason
Florida State University


This paper empirically examines the relationship between the self-identity as Indigenous and earnings inequality in the Mexican labor market. Using Mexican Census data and a large set of wage covariates reveals the existence of an earnings penalty for self-identification as Indigenous. There is an additional and larger penalty for Indigenous persons who are fluent in an Indigenous language, regardless of Spanish language fluency. Further analyses using the Mexican Family Life Survey reveal that these earnings gaps persist after we also control for an individual's cognitive ability. Ethno-linguistic inequality is particularly strong in smaller cities and among self-employed workers.

How Does Crime Affect Migration? Evidence of the Recent Mexican Crime Wave

Luisa Blanco
Pepperdine University
Isabel Ruiz
Harris Manchester College and University of Oxford
Carlos Vargas-Silva
University of Oxford


Mexico has experienced an unprecedented and sudden increase in violent crime since 2007. According to <br />
the INEGI (National Institute of Statistics in Mexico), the national homicide rate increased from 8.5 per<br />
hundred thousand individuals in 2007 to 24.4 in 2011 with significant regional variation in this increase.<br />
There is a growing literature trying to understand the root causes and the consequences of this surge in <br />
crime. This paper contributes to this literature by systematically analyzing how violent crime impacts the<br />
likelihood of migration, both internal and international. We use longitudinal data (pre and post crime<br />
shock) from the Mexican family life survey (MxFLS) to explore the impact of this sudden increase<br />
incrimerates on population mobility in Mexico. We match this data with homicide data at the municipal<br />
level. We also construct indexes based on different types of crime in order to capture additional aspects of crime and explore how crime in surrounding municipalities affects migration decisions. In addition, we<br />
use information on crime victimization reported by individuals in the survey. Our findings indicate that<br />
the crime shock had a positive impact on the likelihood of internal migration (i.e. within Mexico), but no<br />
impact on the likelihood of moving to the United States. We also find that the crime shock had a <br />
nonlinear impact on the likelihood of internal migration with migration less likely to occur in response to small changes in the level of violence, migration occurring at above mean crime rates and decreasing<br />
again at very high levels of crime. We discuss possible hypothesis of why this may be the case.

Does a Rising Tide Lift All Boats? Occupational Segregation of Black Men and Women Over the Business Cycle

Charles L. Betsey
Howard University


A growing body of literature examines the effect of the Great Recession on labor markets outcomes
such as employment (Elsby et al., 2010), wages (NELP, 2015), and occupational segregation (Holder,
2015). A broader question is how occupational segregation has changed during other business
cycles and whether it is likely that sustained high levels of overall economic activity will lead to
improved labor market outcomes for African American men and women. We examine decennial
census and Current Population Survey data over several business cycles using the measure of
occupational segregation developed by Gibson, Darity, and Myers (1998); and Hamilton, Austin and
Darity 2011. The results indicate substantial differences in occupational segregation over the
business cycle and suggest that policies to achieve full employment may have beneficial effects in reducing occupational segregation, particularly for those in the lowest wage occupations.

Gender Inequality: The Intersectionality of Race, Ethnicity and Gender

Wifag Adnan
Zayed University


Theories of Stratification Economics and Intersectionality attribute intergroup inequality to the<br />
categorization of individuals into “in-groups” and “out-groups” such that the former and<br />
dominant group is endowed with a greater number of resources due to a higher social status as<br />
well as a number of persistent discriminatory policies towards the latter group. By extending<br />
these theories to include the roles of state identity, this paper aims to document intergroup<br />
inequality along the lines of ethnic affiliation and gender in Israel by exploring the dimensions of<br />
income, wages, and unemployment.<br />
In 1948, Israel was formed as a democratic Jewish state with the primary purpose of providing a<br />
safe haven for all Jews and as such, Jewish citizens are viewed as loyal members of “an imagined community” who share the state’s goal of preserving its Jewish character and security.<br />
Thus, the dominant group has an extraordinary ability in wielding power and influence in legal,<br />
political and economic spheres because its social and national identity mirrors that of Israel. As a<br />
result, a legal apparatus that is strongly biased has emerged, leading to a high distortion of wealth<br />
between the two groups 1 . Further, earnings inequality is exacerbated by the fact that several high-<br />
wage and prestigious occupations in Israel require military service from which Palestinians are<br />
largely excluded 2 . Palestinian women experience a compounded discrimination effect since<br />
gender-segregated labor markets are a key feature of Israel’s labor market 3 . This paper provides<br />
robust evidence that the above-mentioned labor market conditions and policies perpetuate wealth<br />
and income inequality, but the political rhetoric continues to be dominated by escalating tension<br />
between Jews and non-Jewish Palestinians living in Israel or the Palestinian territories, thereby<br />
drowning out a major source of the conflict-- labor market inequities.
Conrad Miller
University of California-Berkeley
Ngina Sayini Chiteji
New York University
William A. Darity, Jr.
Duke University
Jose G. Caraballo
University of Puerto Rico-Cayey
JEL Classifications
  • I3 - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
  • J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining