City differences in racial occupational differentiation: a note on the use of odds ratios. Academic Article uri icon


  • This note considers whether city differences in racial occupational distribution are best investigated using measures of nominal differentiation or measures of inequality, and argues that measures of inequality are better suited for testing the prevailing theories of race differences in occupation distribution. It also defends the Index of Net Difference and the Index of Dissimilarity (and other measures of inequality used in previous research) from the criticism that they are flawed because they are sensitive to city differences in occupational structure. Additionally, it explores a new approach for investigating city differences in occupational inequality within the log-linear framework. The logical and empirical arguments offered support the conclusions that racial occupation differences reflect racial stratification, and that variation in racial occupation differences across cities is best understood as the product of city differences in the severity of racial stratification. Thus, future research in this area should continue to focus on measures of inequality rather than measures of nominal differentiation until there are sound theoretical and empirical reasons for conceptualizing race differences in occupational distribution in terms of nominal differentiation.

published proceedings

  • Demography

author list (cited authors)

  • Fossett, M. A

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Fossett, MA

publication date

  • November 1984