Employment Income Inequality among Older U.S. Workers: Gender, Race, and Class Comparisons

TitleEmployment Income Inequality among Older U.S. Workers: Gender, Race, and Class Comparisons
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsBehringer, A, Wilmoth, JM, Hogan, R, Perrucci, CC
KeywordsDemographics, Employment and Labor Force, Income, Other

As the elderly segment of the US population continues to grow in size and voice, the economic status of older workers and retirees, particularly women and racial minorities, is of growing social and political interest and concern. While sociologists have analyzed occupational and industrial segmentation and racial and gender inequality in retirement, most studies have narrowly focused on either race or gender and on either pension or Social Security earnings. This research examines effects of gender, race, class, occupation, work, and marital status characteristics on older workers' preretirement income. This research is based on the preretired respondents who are currently working for pay (N = 4,959) in the 1992 Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative survey of individuals ages 51-61 and their spouses. Ordinary least squares regressions were used to estimate the effects of ascribed characteristics (race and gender) as well as work and family history on employment income prior to retirement. Race and gender were found to interact to produce preretirement employment income advantages/disadvantages. Similarly, occupation, class, and the interaction of these variables created considerable differences in income, especially along race and gender lines. The findings suggest status inequality is produced and sustained throughout the life course.

Endnote Keywords

Elderly/Income Inequality/Labor Supply/Sexual Inequality/Racial Differences/Class Differences/United States/Workers

Endnote ID


Citation Key5405