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The Proportion of Females in the Establishment: Discrimination, Preferences and Technology

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  • Kevin T. Reilly
  • Tony S. Wirjanto

Abstract

This paper examines determinants of the proportion of females in the establishment as this variable can affect the male-female wage gap in an important way. Our search for the determinants is guided by two views of the labour market, namely discrimination and coincidence of needs between firms and workers. Results suggest that establishments have a higher proportion of females when employment is higher during the school year and employment turnover is higher, the more stable the demand for the output, the higher the proportion of white-collar employees, and the smaller the local labour market. This suggests that public policy based on one view of how the labour market works may produce unintended results that will not necessarily improve the welfare of the very groups targeted.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin T. Reilly & Tony S. Wirjanto, 1999. "The Proportion of Females in the Establishment: Discrimination, Preferences and Technology," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 73-94, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:25:y:1999:i:s1:p:73-94
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth R Troske & William J Carrington, 1992. "Gender Segregation Small Firms," Working Papers 92-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised May 1993.
    2. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
    3. Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn, 1999. "Employment Equity Programs and the Job Search Outcomes of Unemployed Men and Women: Actual and Perceived Effects," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 27-45, November.
    4. 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 426-471, July.
    5. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    6. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
    7. Morley Gunderson & W. Craig Riddell, 1992. "Comparable Worth: Canada'S Experience," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(3), pages 85-94, July.
    8. Kevin Reilly & Tony Wirjanto, 1999. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Females at the Establishment Level," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 906-929, August.
    9. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    10. Johnson, George & Solon, Gary, 1986. "Estimates of the Direct Effects of Comparable Worth Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1117-1125, December.
    11. Barbara R. Bergmann, 1974. "Occupational Segregation, Wages and Profits When Employers Discriminate by Race or Sex," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 103-110, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ross Finnie & Ted Wannell, 2004. "Evolution of the gender earnings gap among Canadian university graduates," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(17), pages 1967-1978.
    2. Heinze, Anja, 2009. "Earnings of Men and Women in Firms with a Female Dominated Workforce: What Drives the Impact of Sex Segregation on Wages?," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-012, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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