Crowded out? The racial composition of American occupations


Book Section

Copyright © by the University of Michigan 2012. 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.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hamilton, D; Darity, WA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2012

Volume / Issue

  • 9780472026180 /

Book Title

  • Researching Black Communities: A Methodological Guide

Start / End Page

  • 60 - 78

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780472117505

Citation Source

  • Scopus