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Écarts salariaux et disparités professionnelles entre sexes : développements théoriques et validité empirique

  • Havet, Nathalie


This paper is a survey of economic theories that focus on the explanation of gender professionnal disparities. Starting from the first theories that were developed, two opposite branches emerge: a) models that relate differences to productivity differentials and b) theories of discrimination which attribute differences to either employers’ prejudices (i.e. “taste discrimination”) or imperfect information (i.e. “statistical discrimination”). However, all of these theories in their earliest version are not supported by empirical evidence. Consequently, models of second generation have been developed that go beyond the strict opposition betweeen productivity differentials and discrimination. For example, models of taste discrimination integrate henceforth the dynamic of job-search costs. Models of statistical discrimination obtain more convincing conclusions by being based on a more complex informational context and by introducing concepts of human capital theory. Cet article recense l’apport de la théorie économique dans la compréhension des causes des disparités professionnelles entre sexes. Parmi les premières théories développées, deux courants s’opposent : des modèles justifiant ces différences par des écarts de productivité et les théories de la discrimination qui les expliquent, soit par les préjugés des employeurs à l’encontre des femmes, il s’agit dans ce cas de discrimination par goût, soit par des imperfections d’informations, on parle alors de discrimination statistique. Or, ces théories dans leur version les plus simples se sont révélées peu convaincantes dans leur validité empirique. C’est pourquoi des modèles de discrimination de seconde génération ont été développés : ils dépassent l’opposition stricte entre différences de productivité et discrimination. Les modèles de discrimination par goût font désormais intervenir la dynamique des coûts reliés à la recherche d’emplois. Les modèles de discrimination statistique obtiennent quant à eux des conclusions plus convaincantes en se plaçant dans un contexte informationnel plus complexe et en y intégrant les concepts de la théorie du capital humain.

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 80 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (Mars)
Pages: 5-39

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:80:y:2004:i:1:p:5-39
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