Occupational racial composition and nonfatal work injuries

Terceira A. Berdahl, Julia McQuillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Is there an association between occupational racial composition and nonfatal workplace injuries? Guided by several labor market theories (queuing, social closure, devaluation, poor market position, and human capital), we use occupational data from the U.S. Census and Dictionary of Occupational Titles combined with individual data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to answer this question. Hierarchical generalized linear models of individuals within occupations show that there is an association between occupational racial composition and workplace injuries, but this association is only statistically significant for white men in the model controlling for relevant occupational and individual level characteristics. A 10 percent increase in the occupation percent black is associated with a 28 percent increase in injury risk. Contrary to expectations, white men have the highest adjusted odds of injury; white women and black men have significantly lower odds of injury than white men. Additionally, occupation-level environmental hazards and individual-level education, hours worked per week, jobs with insurance benefits, working in the South, and specific industries are associated with differential injury risk. These findings are consistent with labor market theories that suggest social closure, market position, and individual skills contribute to differential labor market outcomes. We demonstrate that sociological theories of labor market inequality are useful for understanding workplace injury risk, and that workplace injuries should be studied as an outcome of social inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-572
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Problems
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 12 2008

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workplace
labor market theory
market position
occupation
labor market
insurance benefit
devaluation
sociological theory
social inequality
linear model
dictionary
human capital
census
industry
education

Keywords

  • And social inequality
  • Health
  • Labor markets
  • Occupational racial composition
  • Work injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Occupational racial composition and nonfatal work injuries. / Berdahl, Terceira A.; McQuillan, Julia.

In: Social Problems, Vol. 55, No. 4, 12.11.2008, p. 549-572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Berdahl, Terceira A. ; McQuillan, Julia. / Occupational racial composition and nonfatal work injuries. In: Social Problems. 2008 ; Vol. 55, No. 4. pp. 549-572.
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