Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald

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Professor, Department of Sociology
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Organizations and Inequality, Economic Sociology, Sex, Race and Class Processes, Methodology.
Don Tomaskovic-Devey is interested in the processes that generate workplace inequality. He has projects on the impact of financialization upon US income distribution, workplace desegregation and equal opportunity, network models of labor market structure, and relational inequality as a theoretical and empirical project. His long-term agenda is to work with others to move the social science of inequality to a more fully relational and organizational stance. He is advancing this agenda through studies of jobs and workplaces, as well as social relationships between jobs within workplaces and the social relationships that link organizations to each other.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Beware Financialization, Attractive and Dangerous, but Mostly Dangerous
    (2015-01-01) Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald
    One of the central projects of neoliberalism has been the financialization of the global economy. Financialization refers to both the rising political and economic power of financial service firms and the growing importance of financial, rather than production, strategies in the rest of the economy. In the US case at least, financialization also accompanied a shift from values associated with employment and production to a normative elevation of financial investment. In the US the financialization dimension of neoliberalism has increased national and global systemic risk, increased income inequality between sectors of the economy, capital and labor and among classes of workers, and at the same time has led to decreased employment and a less productive economy. The lesson is that, despite the surface attractiveness of globalized finance, financialization is a particular dangerous dimension of neoliberal politics and policy
  • Publication
    Race and Workplace Integration: A Politically Mediated Process?
    (2005-01-01) Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald; Stainback, Kevin; Robinson, Corre
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 stands as one of the greatest achievements in U.S. history. Although the law made discrimination illegal, its effectiveness, especially Title VII covering the employment domain, remains highly contested. The authors argue that legal shifts produce workplace racial integration only to the extent that there are additional political pressures on firms to desegregate. They examine fluctuating national political pressure to enforce equal employment opportunity law and affirmative action mandates as key influences on the pace of workplace racial desegregation and explore trajectories of Black-White integration in U.S. workplaces since 1966. Their results show that although federal and state equal employment opportunity pressures had initial successes in reducing racial segregation in workplaces, little progress has been made since the early 1980s. They conclude that racial desegregation is an ongoing politically mediated process, not a natural or inevitable outcome of early civil rights movement victories.
  • Publication
    Financialization and U.S. Income Inequality, 1970-2008
    (2013-01-01) Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald; Lin, Ken-Hou
    Focusing on U.S. nonfinance industries, we examine the connection between financialization and rising income inequality. We argue that the increasing reliance on earnings realized through financial channels decoupled the generation of surplus from production, strengthening owners’ and elite workers’ negotiating power relative to other workers. The result was an incremental exclusion of the general workforce from revenue-generating and compensation-setting processes. Using timeseries cross-section data at the industry level, we find that increasing dependence on financial income, in the long run, is associated with reducing labor’s share of income, increasing top executives’ share of compensation, and increasing earnings dispersion among workers. Net of conventional explanations such as deunionization, globalization, technological change, and capital investment, the effects of financialization on all three dimensions of income inequality are substantial. Our counterfactual analysis suggests that financialization could account for more than half of the decline in labor’s share of income, 9.6% of the growth in officers’ share of compensation, and 10.2%of the growth in earnings dispersion between 1970 and 2008.
  • Publication
    Where Do Immigrants Fare Worse? Modeling Workplace Wage Gap Variation with Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data
    (2015-01-01) Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald; Avent-Holt, Dustin; Hällsten, Martin
    The authors propose a strategy for observing and explaining workplace variance in categorically linked inequalities. Using Swedish economy-wide linked employer-employee panel data, the authors examinevariationinworkplacewageinequalitiesbetweennativeSwedes and non-Western immigrants. Consistent with relational inequality theory, the authors’ findings are thatimmigrant-native wagegaps vary dramatically across workplaces, even net of strong human capital controls. The authors also find that, net of observed and fixed-effect controls for individual traits, workplace immigrant-native wage gaps decline with increased workplace immigrant employment and managerial representation and increase when job segregation rises. These results are stronger in high-inequality workplaces and for white-collar employees: contexts in which one expects status-based claims on organizational resources, the central causal mechanism identified by relational inequality theory, to be stronger. The authors conclude that workplace variation in the non-Western immigrant-native wage gaps is contingentonorganizational variationinthe relativepower ofgroups and the institutional context in which that power is exercised.
  • Publication
    Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records
    (2011-06-01) Kurtulus, Fidan Ana; Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald
    The goal of this study is to examine whether women in the highest levels of management ranks of firms help reduce barriers to advancement in the workplace faced by women. Using a panel of over 20,000 private-sector firms across all industries and states during 1990-2003 from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, we explore the influence of women in top management on subsequent female representation in lower-level managerial positions in U.S. firms. Our key findings show that an increase in the share of female top managers is associated with subsequent increases in the share of women in mid-level management positions within firms, and this result is robust to controlling for firm size, workforce composition, federal contractor status, firm fixed effects, year fixed effects and industry-specific trends. The influence of women in top management positions is stronger among federal contractors, in firms with larger female labor forces, and for white women. We also find that the positive influence of women in top leadership positions on managerial gender diversity diminishes over time, suggesting that women at the top play a positive but transitory role in women’s career advancement.