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Male-Female Wage Gap and Vertical Occupational Segmentation : the Role of Work Attitude

  • Olivier Baguelin

    (Centre d’études de l’emploi)

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    OECD countries are concerned with strong male-female disparities in the labour market, in particular : with a wage gap in favour of men; with a strong gender occupational segmentation. Altough empirical studies suggest male-female difference in work attitudes have a part in these facts, this aspect is often overlooked in economic theory. In this paper, we propose an employment relationship model to capture the role of work attitudes. We consider agents exhibiting self-esteem motives which may represent a source of non pecuniary work motivation. Depending on the optimal contract, an agent develop such a motivation or not. We rely on this model to offer an explanation of observed disparities. The model accounts for a gendered vertically segmented labour market with an overrepresentation of the women in low effort requirement poorly-paid jobs.

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    Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2010012.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2010012
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    1. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 389, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2006.
    2. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-71, July.
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