Category Archives: Wage Inequalities

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. (forthcoming) The Diversification of Inequality, British Journal of Sociology

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 Effects of Agglomeration on Wages: Micro-Level Evidence

This paper estimates individual wage equations to test two rival non‐nested theories of economic agglomeration, namely New Economic Geography (NEG), as represented by the NEG wage equation and urban economic (UE) theory, in which wages relate to employment density. In the U.K. context, we find that for male respondents, there is no significant evidence that wage levels are an outcome of the mechanisms suggested by NEG or UE theory, but this is not the case for female respondents. We speculate on the reasons for the gender difference.

Fingleton B., Longhi S. (2013) The Effects of Agglomeration on Wages: Micro-Level Evidence, Journal of Regional Science, 53(3) 443-463.