Race, Sex, and Income Inequality in the Southwest

Salvatore Restifo , University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Bienvenido Ruiz, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Igor Ryabov, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

U.S. society is marked by extensive racial/ethnic socio-economic inequality. Despite the considerable insights of prior research, however, our understanding of contemporary racial/ethnic stratification remains limited, especially in terms of how race/ethnicity intersects with sex and immigrant status. Drawing on 2011-2015 American Community Survey data, we investigate income inequality by race/ethnicity, sex, and nativity among full-time, full-year workers in the American Southwest—a diverse and economically dynamic region. Our analyses reveal discernible group-level inequalities suggestive of depressed mobility, closure, and race/ethnic- and sex-based hierarchy—patterns which highlight the embedded character of assimilation and economic outcomes within contexts of constraint. Yet we also find heterogeneity across both race/ethnicity and sex. We discuss our findings in light of their empirical and theoretical implications toward understanding patterns and processes of group inequality and economic stratification.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization