Race and loss of privilege: African American/white differences in the determinants of job layoffs from upper-tier occupations

George Wilson, Debra Branch McBrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics supports predictions from the minority vulnerability thesis concerning the determinants of job layoffs among African Americans and Whites who work in upper-middle-class occupations. Specifically, after controlling for seniority, layoffs for African Americans are relatively unstructured by traditional stratification-based causal factors, namely, background socioeconomic status, human-capital credentials, and job/labor market characteristics. Analyses also indicate that racial differences in the determinants of layoffs are more pronounced in nonservice-based than service-based firms in the private sector and in the private sector relative to the public sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-321
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005



  • Job layoffs
  • Racial inequality
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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