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Male-Female Wage Gap and Vertical Occupational Segmentation: the Role of Work Attitude


  • Olivier Baguelin


OECD countries are concerned with strong male-female disparities in the labour market, in particular: with a wage gap in favour of men; with a strong gender occupational segmentation. Although empirical studies suggest male-female differences in work attitudes have a part in these facts, this aspect is often overlooked in economic theory. In this paper, we propose an employment relationship model to capture the role of work attitudes. We consider agents exhibiting self-esteem motives which may represent a source of non pecuniary work motivation. Depending on the optimal contract, an agent develops such a motivation or not. We rely on this model to offer an explanation of observed disparities. The model accounts for a gendered vertically segmented labour market with an overrepresentation of women in low effort requirement poorly-paid jobs. JEL Classification : J24 ; J71 ; Z13.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Baguelin, 2010. "Male-Female Wage Gap and Vertical Occupational Segmentation: the Role of Work Attitude," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 76(1), pages 31-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_761_0031

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karel Janda & Van Quang Tran & Pavel Zetek, 2015. "Faktory ovlivňující zapojení žen v mikrofinancích
      [The Factors Influencing the Participation of Women in Microfinance]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(3), pages 363-381.
    2. Janda, Karel & Van Tran, Quang & Zetek, Pavel, 2014. "Vybrané faktory ovlivňující zapojení žen v mikrofinancích
      [The Selected Factors Influencing the Participation of Women in Microfinance]
      ," MPRA Paper 59109, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    non pecuniary work motivation; gender discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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