Race, Ethnicity, and the Gender-poverty Gap
We use data from the Current Population Survey (CPS 1994-2001) to document the relationship between gender-specific demographic variations and the gender-poverty gap among eight racial/ethnic groups. We find that black and Puerto Rican women experience a double disadvantage owing to being both women and members of a minority group. As compared with whites, however, gender inequality among other minority groups is relatively small. By utilizing a standardization technique, we are able to estimate the importance of gender-specific demographic and socioeconomic composition in shaping differences in men's and women's poverty rates both within and across racial/ethnic lines. The analysis reveals that sociodemographic characteristics have a distinct effect on the poverty rate of minority women, and that the form and the magnitude of the effect vary across racial/ethnic lines. By incorporating the newly available immigration information in the CPS data, we are also able to document the effect of immigration status on gender inequality. The social and economic implications of the findings for the study of gender inequality are discussed in the last section of the article.