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Occupational segregation and wage differences: the case of Poland


  • Pawel Strawinski
  • Aleksandra Majchrowska
  • Paulina Broniatowska


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relation between occupational segregation and the gender wage differences using data on three-digit occupational level of classification. The authors examine whether a statistically significant relation between the share of men in employment and the size of the unexplained part of the gender wage gap exists. Design/methodology/approach - Traditional Oaxaca (1973) – Blinder (1973) decomposition is performed to examine the differences in the gender wage gaps among minor occupational groups. Two types of reweighted decomposition – based on the parametric estimate of the propensity score and non-parametric proposition presented by Barskyet al.(2002) – are used as the robustness check. The analysis is based on individual data available from Poland. Findings - The results indicate no strong relation between occupational segregation and the size of unexplained differences in wages. The unexplained wage differences are the smallest in strongly female-dominated and mixed occupations; the highest are observed in male-dominated occupations. However, they are probably to a large extent the result of other, difficult to include in the econometric model, factors rather than the effects of wage discrimination: differences in the psychophysical conditions of men and women, cultural background, tradition or habits. The failure to take them into account may result in over-interpreting the unexplained parts as gender discrimination. Research limitations/implications - The highest accuracy of the estimated gender wage gap is obtained for the occupational groups with a similar proportion of men and women in employment. In other male- or female-dominated groups, the size of the estimated gender wage gaps depends on the estimation method used. Practical implications - The results suggest that decreasing the degree of segregation of men and women in different occupations could reduce the wage differences between them, as the wage discrimination in gender balanced occupations is the smallest. Originality/value - To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the few conducted at such a disaggregated level of occupations, and one of few studies focused on Central and Eastern European countries and the first one for Poland.

Suggested Citation

  • Pawel Strawinski & Aleksandra Majchrowska & Paulina Broniatowska, 2018. "Occupational segregation and wage differences: the case of Poland," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 39(3), pages 378-397, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:ijm-07-2016-0141
    DOI: 10.1108/IJM-07-2016-0141

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