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Gender segregation and the wage gap in Portugal: an analysis at the establishment level

  • José Vieira
  • Ana Cardoso


  • Miguel Portela

Using a large linked employer-employee data set, this paper aims at quantifying the trend in worker segregation at the establishment level and its impact on wages in Portugal over a fifteen year period. We concentrate on the gender dimension, to answer the questions: What is the level of gender segregation across establishments in the Portuguese labor market and how has it evolved over time? What is the impact of segregation on wages? Is that impact different for men and women? Systematic and random components of segregation are computed. We use standard wage decomposition techniques to evaluate the impact of the composition of the labor force at the establishment level on wages. The results reveal a high degree of systematic gender segregation. A higher proportion of females in the establishment lowers females’ wages while, on the contrary, it raises males’ wages. The evidence gathered is consistent with the taste-based model of employer behavior and with the theory of sorting of workers across establishments based on their productivity. Copyright Springer 2005

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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 145-168

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:3:y:2005:i:2:p:145-168
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  1. Carrington, William J & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "On Measuring Segregation in Samples with Small Units," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 402-09, October.
  2. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 1994. "Immigration and the Earnings of Young Native Workers," CEPR Discussion Papers 936, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-43, May.
  4. 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-.
  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. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," NBER Working Papers 7003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  9. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
  10. Silber, Jacques, 1992. "Occupational Segregation Indices in the Multidimensional Case: A Note," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(202), pages 276-77, September.
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