IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:80:y:2004:i:1:p:5-39
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:80:y:2004:i:1:p:5-39. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruce Shearer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.