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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)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Baguelin, 2010. "Male-Female Wage Gap and Vertical Occupational Segmentation : the Role of Work Attitude," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2010012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2010012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    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 426-471, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karel Janda & Van Quang Tran & Pavel Zetek, 2015. "Faktory ovlivňující zapojení žen v mikrofinancích
      [The Factors Influencing the Participation of Women in Microfinance]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(3), pages 363-381.
    2. Janda, Karel & Van Tran, Quang & Zetek, Pavel, 2014. "Vybrané faktory ovlivňující zapojení žen v mikrofinancích
      [The Selected Factors Influencing the Participation of Women in Microfinance]
      ," MPRA Paper 59109, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Non pecuniary work motivation; Gender discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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