Within the context of William Wilson's "declining significance of race" thesis, this study uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine differences in the income gap among two cohorts of males through the early stages of their work careers in middle-class jobs during the periods 1975-82 and 1985-92. Findings indicate that the racial gap is structured in a manner that is contrary to predictions from the Wilson thesis. In particular, the gap increases over the seven-year period for both cohorts. Further, the gap is particularly pronounced among the more recent cohort. Specifically, it is larger at the outset of the seven-year period and increases more between 1985 and 1992 than between 1975 and 1982. Specific cohort and period effects that explain the racial differences in income are discussed, and directions for future research are identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science