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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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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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael Baker & Nicole M. Fortin, 1999. "Women's Wages in Women's Work: A US/Canada Comparison of the Roles of Unions and Public Goods Sector Jobs," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-02, CIRANO.
  5. Reilly, K.T. & Wirjanto, T.S., 1998. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Female at the Establishment Level," Papers 98-04, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  6. 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.
  7. Morley Gunderson & Paul Lanoie, 1999. "Program Evaluation Criteria Applied to Pay Equity in Ontario," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-38, CIRANO.
  8. 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.
  9. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," NBER Working Papers 7003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  15. 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.
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