, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 967–988 | Cite as

The Evolution of Occupational Segregation in the United States, 1940–2010: Gains and Losses of Gender–Race/Ethnicity Groups

  • Coral del Río
  • Olga Alonso-Villar


The aim of this article is twofold: (1) to descriptively explore the evolution of occupational segregation of women and men of different racial/ethnic groups in the United States during 1940–2010, and (2) to assess the consequences of segregation for each group. For that purpose, in this article, we propose a simple index that measures the monetary loss or gain of a group derived from its overrepresentation in some occupations and underrepresentation in others. This index has a clear economic interpretation. It represents the per capita advantage (if the index is positive) or disadvantage (if the index is negative) of the group, derived from its segregation, as a proportion of the average wage of the economy. Our index is a helpful tool not only for academics but also for institutions concerned with inequalities among demographic groups because it makes it possible to rank them according to their segregational nature.


Occupational segregation Local segregation Race Gender Wages 



We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (ECO2013-46516-C4-2-R, ECO2010-21668-C03-03 and ECO2011-23460), Xunta de Galicia (CN2012/178), and FEDER. We also want to thank the anonymous referees for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain
  2. 2.EQUALITASVigoSpain

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