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Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988

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  • Michael Baker
  • Nicole M. Fortin

Abstract

The relationship between occupational gender composition and wages is the basis of pay equity/comparable worth legislation. A number of previous studies have examined this relationship in US data, identifying some of the determinants of low wages in ``female jobs'' well as important limitations of public policy in this area. There is little evidence, however, from other jurisdictions. This omission is particularly disturbing in the case of Canada, which now has some of the most extensive pay equity legislation in the world. In this paper we provide a comprehensive picture, circa the late 1980's, of the occupational gender segregation in Canada and its consequences for wages. The sample period precedes many provincial pay equity initiatives and thus the results should provide a baseline for the evaluation of this legislation. We find that the estimated wage penalties in female jobs in Canada are generally much smaller than the estimates for the United States. Although there is some heterogeneity across worker groups on average, the link between female wages and gender composition is small and not statistically significant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7371.

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Date of creation: Sep 1999
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Publication status: published as "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988", Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 34, May 2001, 345-376.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7371

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  1. W. Craig Riddell, 1993. "Unionization in Canada and the United States: A Tale of Two Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 109-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Reilly, K.T. & Wirjanto, T.S., 1998. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Female at the Establishment Level," Papers 98-04, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
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  12. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," Working papers 99-30, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Michael P. Kidd & Michael Shannon, 1994. "An Update and Extension of the Canadian Evidence on Gender Wage Differentials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 918-38, November.
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  16. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-71, July.
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