Occupational Stratification Over the Life Course: A Comparison of Occupational Trajectories Across Race and Gender During the 1980s and 1990s

This study uses growth curve analysis to examine whether disparities in the occupational standing of White men relative to women and minorities grew larger or smaller with advancing age during the 1980s and 1990s. The analyses are based on The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Follow-Up. Results indicate that disparities in occupational standing stayed constant over the life course across all demographic groups except for African Americans, whose gap in occupational status relative to Whites and Hispanics grew significantly larger with advancing age. Implications of these findings for theories of occupational inequality are discussed.