Publication Date

January 2015

Journal or Book Title

American Journal of Sociology


The authors propose a strategy for observing and explaining workplacevariance in categorically linked inequalities. Using Swedisheconomy-wide linked employer-employee panel data, the authors examinevariationinworkplacewageinequalitiesbetweennativeSwedesand non-Western immigrants. Consistent with relational inequalitytheory, the authors’ findings are thatimmigrant-native wagegaps varydramatically across workplaces, even net of strong human capitalcontrols. The authors also find that, net of observed and fixed-effectcontrols for individual traits, workplace immigrant-native wage gapsdecline with increased workplace immigrant employment and managerialrepresentation and increase when job segregation rises. Theseresults are stronger in high-inequality workplaces and for white-collaremployees: contexts in which one expects status-based claims on organizationalresources, the central causal mechanism identified by relationalinequality theory, to be stronger. The authors conclude thatworkplace variation in the non-Western immigrant-native wage gapsis contingentonorganizational variationinthe relativepower ofgroupsand the institutional context in which that power is exercised.





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