Representation and Reward in High Technology Industries and Occupations: The Influence of Race and Ethnicity

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Gatchair, Sonia Denise
Cozzens, Susan E.
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This study examined whether the demand for more educated science and engineering workers outweighed longstanding practices of discrimination in hiring in high technology industries and science and engineering occupations. The study focused on the effects of education on the distribution of employment and wages among four racial and ethnic groups (non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics and Asians), for the period 1992 to 2002. The main data used in the analyses came from the March Annual Demographic Survey. Multinomial logit analyses were used to determine the probabilities of employment, and ordinary least squares, non-parametric regressions and t-tests were used to examine wages. The analyses showed that education was more important in determining employment in S &E occupations, when compared to its effects in other occupations; and compared to race, other demographic and labor market characteristics. The effects of education were greater in S &E jobs in the high technology sector when compared to S &E jobs elsewhere in the economy. However, the effects of education varied with race, the level of education, and the industry/ occupational group under consideration in ways that suggest that both employment and wages continue to be influenced by correlates of race. Based on the findings, the study provides recommendations for policy and future research.
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