Crowded out? The racial composition of American occupations
Over 35 years ago, Barbara Bergmann (1971) hypothesized that labor market discrimination against black males is manifest in a "crowding" effect, which results in lower earnings. White employers' refusal to hire blacks in certain occupations forces them to cluster and creates crowding in less desirable jobs, reinforcing a condition of lower earnings. Bergmann provided empirical evidence of this crowding phenomenon by reporting the disproportionate presence of black male workers in several low-skilled occupations relative to what would be expected based on educational attainment and population share. In this chapter we provide an update and extension of black male occupational crowding using a more extensive list of occupations that is not limited to low-skilled work based on the 2000 decennial census. Data are examined to determine whether the crowding phenomenon is still evident in the post-Civil Rights labor market. In addition, a correlation analysis is performed to test for a relationship between occupational crowding and earnings.