ERIC Number: ED138666
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov
Race, Class and Income Inequality. Discussion Papers 381-76.
Wright, Erik Olin
The basic thesis of this study was that class position in society is a determinant of the extent to which education can be transformed into income, i.e., that many of the commonly observed racial differences in income returns from education are a consequence of the distribution of social groups into class categories. More specifically, the hypotheses were that: (1) managers would have much higher returns from education than workers; (2) black males would be more concentrated in the working class than white males; (3) black males would receive lower returns from education than white males when class position was ignored; (4) within the working class, the returns from education for black and white males would be much more similar than for all blacks and all whites; (5) within the supervisor category, the returns from education for black and white males would be more similar than for all blacks and all whites; and, (6) within the managerial category, black males would have lower returns from education than white males. While in the original year of the study, the sample was a random one of 5,000 households active in the labor force, the sample was no longer genuinely random by the eighth year due to successive non-responses. Data was collected on income, education, occupational status, age, seniority, father's status, father's education, parental economic condition, and annual number of hours worked. An analysis of the data by regression equations confirmed the hypotheses. It was concluded that the differences in economic returns from education between black and white males largely disappear when the regression equations are run within class positions. (Author/BS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.