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Women in the White-Collar Nonprofit Sector: The Best Option or the Only Option?


  • Preston, Anne E


This paper investigates why female employees are overrepresented in the private nonprofit sector. Using the 1977 Quality of Employment Survey, the author determines the importance of occupational locus and compensation structure as explanations for the large number of women in the sector. While occupational locus does contribute to the large number of women in the sector, the structure of nonprofit compensation is also an important factor in drawing women to the sector. Controlling for differences in compensation patterns of for-profit and nonprofit firms, women are not more likely than men to work in the nonprofit sector. Copyright 1990 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Preston, Anne E, 1990. "Women in the White-Collar Nonprofit Sector: The Best Option or the Only Option?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 560-568, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:72:y:1990:i:4:p:560-68

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    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano & Tortia, Ermanno, 2009. "Productivity, wages and intrinsic motivation in social enterprises," AICCON Working Papers 66-2009, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    2. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson & Anne E. Preston, 2018. "Nonprofit wages: theory and evidence," Chapters, in: Bruce A. Seaman & Dennis R. Young (ed.), Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management, chapter 8, pages 146-179, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Benoit Dostie & Mohsen Javdani, 2020. "Not for the Profit, But for the Training? Gender Differences in Training in the For‐Profit and Non‐Profit Sectors," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(3), pages 644-689, September.
    4. Jürgen Figerl & Thomas Grandner, 2008. "Job quality and wages in duopsony," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp121, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Marianne Simonsen & Mette Verner, 2004. "Does the Gap in Family‐friendly Policies Drive the Family Gap?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 721-744, December.
    6. Leete, Laura, 2000. "Wage equity and employee motivation in nonprofit and for-profit organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 423-446, December.
    7. Rong Zhao, 2023. "Are Women’s and Men’s Pay Increase Trajectories Different in Nonprofit and For-Profit Human Services Organizations?," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-18, March.
    8. Newton, Ashley N., 2015. "Executive compensation, organizational performance, and governance quality in the absence of owners," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 195-222.
    9. Gabriel Courey, 2020. "Gender and Racial Wage Differentials in Nonprofit Hospitals," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 34(4), pages 373-398, December.
    10. Jonathan Morduch & Ariane Szafarz, 2018. "Earning to Give: Occupational Choice for Effective Altruists," Working Papers CEB 18-017, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. DeVaro, Jed & Maxwell, Nan & Morita, Hodaka, 2016. "Compensation and Intrinsic Motivation in Nonprofit and For-Profit Organizations," CEI Working Paper Series 2015-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    12. Inbar Livnat & Michal Almog-Bar, 2023. "Who Provides Resilience to the Community Resilience Providers?," Societies, MDPI, vol. 13(7), pages 1-14, July.
    13. Benoit Dostie & Mohsen Javdani, 2020. "Immigrants and Workplace Training: Evidence from Canadian Linked Employer–Employee Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 275-315, April.
    14. Jane Leber Herr & Catherine Wolfram, 2009. "Work Environment and "Opt-Out" Rates at Motherhood Across High-Education Career Paths," NBER Working Papers 14717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Astrid Haider & Ulrike Schneider, 2010. "The Influence Of Volunteers, Donations And Public Subsidies On The Wage Level Of Nonprofit Workers: Evidence From Austrian Matched Data," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(1), pages 1-20, March.
    16. Figerl, Jürgen & Grandner, Thomas, 2008. "Job quality and wages in duopsony," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 121, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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