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Gender Pay Equity and Comparable Worth in Australia: A Reassessment

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  • Mark Wooden

Abstract

The Australian labour market is characterised by a persistent earnings differential between men and women. This article examines the contribution made by gender‐based occupational segmentation to that gap using data from the 1993 Survey of Training and Education. It is estimated that occupational segmentation is responsible for between 3.9 and 4.9 percentage points of the earnings differential when measured across all employees. The comparable range after excluding managerial employees, however, is only 2.1 to 3.6 percentage points. Finally, the importance of segmentation for the gender earnings gap is found to be directly correlated with age, suggesting the intriguing possibility that the occupation‐based inequity in pay will work itself out over time. That said, other explanations for this age effect also exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Wooden, 1999. "Gender Pay Equity and Comparable Worth in Australia: A Reassessment," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(2), pages 157-171, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:32:y:1999:i:2:p:157-171
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8462.00102
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8462.00102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. Michael P. Kidd & Xin Meng, 1997. "Trends in the Australian Gender Wage Differential over the 1980s: Some Evidence on the Effectiveness of Legislative Reform," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(1), pages 31-44, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2001. "The Persistence of the Female Wage Disadvantage," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 34(1), pages 33-52, March.
    2. Jeff Borland & Michael Coelli, 2016. "Labour Market Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(299), pages 517-547, December.
    3. Kennedy, Tom & Rae, Maria & Sheridan, Alison & Valadkhani, Abbas, 2017. "Reducing gender wage inequality increases economic prosperity for all: Insights from Australia," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 14-24.
    4. Kristy Eastough & Paul W. Miller, 2004. "The Gender Wage Gap in Paid‐ and Self‐Employment in Australia," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 257-276, September.
    5. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
    6. Lin Xiu & Morley Gunderson, 2015. "Occupational segregation and the gender earnings gap in China: devils in the details," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 711-732, August.

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