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Female participation increases and gender segregation

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  • Keane, Claire
  • Russell, Helen
  • Smyth, Emer

Abstract

This article examines the impact of a large increase in female participation on occupational segregation. Increases in female participation may decrease occupational segregation if women enter male dominated sectors but may increase segregation if they enter already female dominated sectors. Using Ireland as a test case due to the recent large increase in female participation rates, we firstly carry out a decomposition analysis between 1991 and 2006 and find that the rise in female employment was driven predominantly by increased demand while between one tenth and one fifth of the rise was due to women increasing their share of occupational employment. Formal measures of segregation show that occupational segregation fell over this time period. The formal measures of segregation show that the level of occupational grouping is important with stagnation or smaller falls in segregation using a broad occupational grouping and sharper falls using a more detailed occupational grouping. Our findings support previous U.S. research that found a rise in female participation resulted in a decline in occupational segregation.

Suggested Citation

  • Keane, Claire & Russell, Helen & Smyth, Emer, 2017. "Female participation increases and gender segregation," Papers WP564, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp564
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    File URL: https://www.esri.ie/pubs/WP564.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Juan D. Barón & Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark, 2010. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private‐ and Public‐Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, June.
    2. Moshe Semuonov & Frank Jones, 1999. "Dimensions of Gender Occupational Differentiation in Segregation and Inequality: A Cross-National Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 225-247, February.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 33-58, January.
    4. Emer Smyth & Merike Darmody, 2007. ""Man Enough To Do It"? Girls and Non-Traditional Subjects in Lower Secondary Education," Papers WP198, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Francesca Bettio, 2002. "The Pros and Cons of Occupational Gender Segregation in Europe," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 65-84, May.
    6. Janet Siltanen, 1990. "Social Change and the Measurement of Occupational Segregation by Sex: An Assessment of the Sex Ratio Index," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helen Russell & Frances McGinnity & Philip J. O’Connell, 2017. "Gender Equality in the Irish Labour Market 1966-2016: Unfinished Business?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 48(4), pages 393-418.

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