Does race affect the route to downward mobility from white collar occupations? Data from Panel Study of Income Dynamics are used to assess the minority vulnerability thesis, which maintains there are race-specific processes of down ward occupational mobility among males from white collar occupations. Findings indicate that, consistent with theory, a racialized continuum exists across six years of the work-career. For Whites, the path to downward mobility is relatively narrow and structured by traditional stratification-based causal factors, namely, human capital, back ground socioeconomic status, and job/labor market characteristics. For African Americans, the route to downward mobility is broad-based and not captured by traditional stratification factors and Latinos occupy an intermediate ground between Whites and African Americans. Further, as predicted by theory, the racial gap in mobility processes between Whites and racial minorities is pronounced at the lower-tier of white collar employment. Finally, implications of the findings for understanding labor market inequalities on the basis of race are discussed.
- Downward mobility
- White collar
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)