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The reverse wage gap among educated White and Black women


Using the 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and the 2004–2005 American Community Surveys, we estimate the Black–White wage gap among females with at least some college education. We find that Black female nurses earn 9% more at the mean and median than White female nurses, controlling for selection into nursing employment. Among K-12 teachers, Black females earn 7% more than White females at the median. There is no Black–White wage gap among all women with a bachelor’s degree. Differences in opportunities for education and marriage between White and Black women may explain why highly educated Black females earn on par with highly educated White females.

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Correspondence to Jonathan D. Fisher.

Additional information

This research was conducted while Jonathan Fisher was working with Litigation Analytics, Inc.

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Fisher, J.D., Houseworth, C.A. The reverse wage gap among educated White and Black women. J Econ Inequal 10, 449–470 (2012).

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  • Human capital
  • Differential demand and supply for schooling
  • Wage gaps