Category Archives: Ethnic inequalities

Does Geographical Location Matter for Ethnic Wage Gaps?

We know that ethnic minorities in Great Britain are paid less on average than White British people.  We also know that ethnic minorities are more likely to live in deprived areas with lower job opportunities.  Does location matter in shaping ethnic wage gaps?

This research measures ethnic wage gaps by comparing minorities to majority workers in the same local labour market and focuses on the variation of wage gaps across areas. As wage gaps vary across areas, using one single national measure may be misleading. Higher wage gaps across groups are associated with higher occupational segregation and ethnic diversity, while higher wage gaps within groups are associated with higher regional specialisation and proportion of co‐ethnics. Policies could help by improving job location and selection into occupations across groups.

Longhi S. (2020) Does Geographical Location Matter for Ethnic Wage Gaps?, Journal of Regional Science, forthcoming

The Diversification of Inequality

We examine intersectionality on the basis of increasingly complex interactions between gender and ethnic groups, which we argue derive from the growing diversity of these groups. While we critique the concept of superdiversity, we suggest that increased diversity leads to a ‘diversification of inequality’. This is characterised by an increasing incidence of inequality through the growth in migration and of the size and variety of ethnic minorities, and by a weakening of specific inequalities. We demonstrate this using the Labour Force Survey and conclude that there is a clear diversification of inequality but also that ethnicity is a more potent source of inequality than gender. Diversity also increases the reach of inequality through producing and increasing the number of intersections.

Brynin M., Longhi S., Zwysen W. (2019) The Diversification of Inequality, British Journal of Sociology, 70(1): 70-89.

A Longitudinal Analysis of Ethnic Unemployment Differentials in the UK

As in many developed countries, in the UK the unemployment rate of ethnic minorities is higher than the unemployment rate of the white British majority. These differences may be due to a higher probability of ethnic minorities entering unemployment by losing a job, or to a lower probability of exiting unemployment by finding a job. Using Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, this paper analyses what individual and job characteristics contribute to job loss, what contribute to job finding, and to what extent ethnic unemployment differentials can be explained by such characteristics.

For both men and women the results show no relevant ethnic differences in the probability to transition from a paid job into unemployment. Only Indian UK born women seem more likely to transition than white British majority women, while for other groups the small differences are in favour of ethnic minorities. Segregation in occupations characterised by low wages and less stable jobs does not seem to contribute to the higher unemployment rate of ethnic minorities. The main determinant of ethnic unemployment differentials seems to be the longer duration of unemployment for ethnic minorities, which, however, remains largely unexplained after the inclusion of individual and household characteristics.

Longhi S. (forthcoming) A Longitudinal Analysis of Ethnic Unemployment Differentials in the UK, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Employment and Earning Differences in the Early Career of Ethnic Minority British Graduates

Ethnic minorities in the U.K. are more likely than the white majority to gain university qualifications, but experience worse labour market outcomes on average. This paper compares employment and earnings of British graduates from ethnic minorities to those of white British graduates to analyse whether ethnic labour market differences exist among the highly qualified, and whether they can be explained by differences in parental background, local area characteristics or differences in university careers. These factors account for a substantial part of persistent ethnic differences in earnings, but explain very little of the differences in employment. Compared to the literature estimating ethnic labour market inequalities on people with any level of qualification, we find smaller ethnic differences in employment and almost no differences in earnings among graduates entering the labour market. The results are robust to various changes in model specification.

Zwysen W., Longhi S. (2018) Employment and Earning Differences in the Early Career of Ethnic Minority British Graduates: the Importance of University Career, Parental Background and Area Characteristics, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(1) 154-172.

Racial Wage Differentials in Developed Countries

In many developed countries, racial and ethnic minorities are paid, on average, less than the native white majority. While racial wage differentials are partly the result of immigration, they also persist for racial minorities of second and further generations. Eliminating racial wage differentials and promoting equal opportunities among citizens with different racial backgrounds is an important social policy goal. Inequalities resulting from differences in opportunities lead to a waste of talent for those who cannot reach their potential and to a waste of resources if some people cannot contribute fully to society.

Longhi S. (2017) Racial Wage Differentials in Developed Countries, IZA World of Labor, 2017: 365.

The Ethnicity Pay Gap

Research Report for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC):
Longhi, S. and Brynin, M. (2017) The Ethnicity Pay Gap, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Research Report 108.

Here you can listen to a talk and a related podcast on The Ethnicity Pay Gap organised by the Social Market Foundation within the Ask the Expert Series.  You can also read a short blog on the Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting published on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) website.