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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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  • Nicole M. Fortin & Michael Huberman, 2002. "Occupational Gender Segregation and Women's Wages in Canada: An Historical Perspective," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-22, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2002s-22

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
    2. Mariona Lozano & Dana Hamplová & Céline Le Bourdais, 2016. "Non-standard work schedules, gender, and parental stress," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 34(9), pages 259-284, February.
    3. Aldaz Odriozola, Leire & Eguía Peña, Begoña, 2016. "Segregación laboral por género en España y en el País Vasco. Un análisis de cohortes /Occupational Segregation by Sex in Spain and in the Basque Country. A Cohort Analysis," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 34, pages 133-154, Enero.
    4. Heather Antecol & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Do Non-cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n13, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Dickson Thomas NDAMSA & Aloysius Mom NJONG & Francis Menjo BAYE & Jackson YOUYEM, 2015. "Investigating the role of male advantage and female disadvantage in explaining the discrimination effect of the gender pay gap in the Cameroon labor market. Oaxaca-Ransom decomposition approach," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 1(34), pages 55-72, May.
    6. Fortin, Nicole M. & Bell, Brian & Böhm, Michael, 2017. "Top earnings inequality and the gender pay gap: Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 107-123.
    7. Luiza Antonie & Miana Plesca & Jennifer Teng, 2016. "Heterogeneity in the Gender Wage Gap in Canada," Working Papers 1603, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    8. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2013. "Do psychosocial traits help explain gender segregation in young people's occupations?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 59-73.
    9. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Guimaraes, Paulo & Portugal, Pedro, 2012. "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 7109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Olfert, M. Rose & Moebis, Dianne M., 2006. "The Spatial Economy of Gender-Based Occupational Segregation," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 36(1), pages 44-62.
    11. Ilse Lindenlaub & Anja Prummer, 2016. "Gender, Social Networks and Peformance," Working Papers 807, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    12. Ilse Lindenlaub & Anja Prummer, 2014. "Gender, Social Networks And Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1461, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Casey Warman & Frances Woolley & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "The Evolution of Male-Female Wages Differentials in Canadian Universities: 1970-2001," Working Papers 1099, Queen's University, Department of Economics.


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