The Role of Gender in Asian American-White Wage Differences

Emily Greenman, University of Michigan

Both Asian American men and women currently have higher earnings than whites of the same sex. However, a recent analysis by Xie and Goyette (forthcoming) shows that the wages of Asian Americans relative to those of whites are strongly mediated by gender. Specifically, among those born in the U.S., Asian American women's wages relative to those of white women have historically been higher than the wages of Asian American men relative to white men. This paper investigates possible explanations for this gender difference in the relative wages of Asian Americans. Using 2000 PUMS data, I test two primary hypotheses: First, that the Asian American-white difference in occupational distribution may be greater among women than men, leading to a greater wage difference among women; second, that lower fertility among Asian Americans relative to whites leads to a wage advantage for Asian American women, but not for Asian American men.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Applied Demography, Methods, Migration, Labor and Education, Gender, and Race and Ethnicity