Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Juan Battle

Subject Categories

Economics | Sociology | Women's Studies


Black women; Earnings; Labor market outcomes; United States


In light of several trends among Black women in the U.S., including rising levels of college degree attainment, immigration, and household headship, scholars have begun to more thoroughly explore the factors impacting Black women's labor market outcomes (e.g., employment status, earnings, and occupational prestige). Focusing on the 30-year period of 1980 to 2010, this dissertation applies theories of social and cultural capital, intersectionality, and social mobility to the examination of Black women's labor market trajectories according to their nativity (U.S.- vs. foreign-born status) and level of educational attainment (college-educated vs. non-college-educated). Additionally, this dissertation examines recent national data to determine which independent variables predict earnings for full-time Black women workers.

Using data from the Minnesota Population Center's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) of the United States Census Bureau's 1980, 1990, and 2000 Census, and 2010-2012 American Community Survey (ACS), this study employs synthetic cohort analysis and multiple regression analyses to identify factors impacting labor market outcomes for Black women in the United States.

The findings of this research confirm the positive impact of several variables on labor market outcomes for Black women across time, including college education, foreign-born status, and employment in the public sector. Implications and policy recommendations are discussed.