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Occupational Gender Segregation and Women's Wages in Canada: An Historical Perspective

  • Nicole M. Fortin
  • Michael Huberman

We document the evolution of occupational gender segregation and its implications for women's labour market outcomes over the twentieth century. The first half of the century saw a considerable decline in vertical segregation as women moved out of domestic and manufacturing work into clerical work. This created a substantial amount of horizontal segregation that persists to this day. To study the effects of occupational segregation on the gender gap, we introduce a decomposition technique that divides the gap into between-occupation and within-occupation components. Since the 1990s the component attributable to within-occupation wage differentials has become predominant. Nous traçons un portrait de l'évolution de la ségrégation professionnelle selon le sexe au 20ième siècle, et de ses conséquences sur la condition féminine dans le marché du travail. Dans la première partie du 20ième siècle, la ségrégation professionnelle hiérarchique ou verticale a considérablement déclinée alors que les travailleuses quittaient les emplois de domestique et du secteur manufacturier en faveur des emplois de bureau. Ceci créa néanmoins une importante ségrégation professionnelle horizontale qui persiste jusqu'à aujourd'hui. Pour étudier les effets de la ségrégation professionnelle sur l'écart salarial selon le sexe, nous présentons une technique de décomposition qui divise l'écart salarial en deux composantes: l'une due aux différences intra-occupations et l'autre due aux différences inter-occupations. Depuis le début des années 90, la composante intra-occupation est prédominante.

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File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2002s-22.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2002s-22.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2002s-22
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  1. Erica L. Groshen, 1987. "The structure of the female/male wage differential: is it who you are, what you do, or where you work?," Working Paper 8708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Kenneth R Troske & William J Carrington, 1992. "Gender Segregation Small Firms," Working Papers 92-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised May 1993.
  3. Baldwin, Marjorie L & Butler, Richard J & Johnson, William G, 2001. "A Hierarchical Theory of Occupational Segregation and Wage Discrimination," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 94-110, January.
  4. Morley Gunderson & Paul Lanoie, 2002. "Program-Evaluation Criteria Applied to Pay Equity in Ontario," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 133-148, May.
  5. Michael Baker & Nicole M. Fortin, 2000. "Does Comparable Worth Work in a Decentralized Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 7937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael P. Kidd & Michael Shannon, 1994. "An Update and Extension of the Canadian Evidence on Gender Wage Differentials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 918-38, November.
  7. Kevin T. Reilly & Tony Wirjanto, 1997. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Females at the Establishment Level," Working Papers 98001, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Sep 1997.
  8. Nicole M. Fortin & Michael Baker, 1999. "Women's Wages in Women's Work: A U.S./Canada Comparison of the Roles of Unions and "Public Goods" Sector Jobs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 198-203, May.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  10. Francine Blau & Patricia Simpson & Deborah Anderson, 1998. "Continuing Progress? Trends in Occupational Segregation in the United States over the 1970s and 1980s," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 29-71.
  11. Drolet, Marie, 2001. "The Persistent Gap: New Evidence on the Canadian Gender Wage Gap," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001157e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  12. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  13. Kenneth R Troske & Kimberly N Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1998. "New Evidence On Sex Segregation And Sex Differences In Wages From Matched Employee-Employer Data," Working Papers 98-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. John M. Evans, 2002. "Work/Family Reconciliation, Gender Wage Equity and Occupational Segregation: The Role of Firms and Public Policy," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 187-216, May.
  15. Joanne D. Leck, 2002. "Making Employment Equity Programs Work for Women," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 85-100, May.
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