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Why choose women's work if it pays less? A structural model of occupational choice

  • M. Melinda Pitts

This paper controls for the selection bias associated with occupational choice and the labor force participation decision in estimating the wage penalty for working in female-dominated occupations. Using data from the May 1979 and the April 1993 supplements to the Current Population Survey, the author finds that women working in female-dominated occupations have similar or higher expected wages in their chosen occupation compared to nonfemale-dominated occupations. This result indicates that there is efficient matching between occupations and skills for women in the labor force and refutes the theories of occupational segregation or crowding as determinants of the gender wage differential.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2002-30.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2002-30
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521367288 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  3. Sherwin Rosen, 2002. "Markets and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 1-15, March.
  4. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  5. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hotchkiss, Julie L, 1991. "The Definition of Part-Time Employment: A Switching Regression Model with Unknown Sample Selection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 899-917, November.
  7. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
  8. Atrostic, B K, 1982. "The Demand for Leisure and Nonpecuniary Job Characteristics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 428-40, June.
  9. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-94, July.
  10. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  11. Elaine Sorensen, 1989. "Measuring the pay disparity between typically female occupations and other jobs: A bivariate selectivity approach," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(4), pages 624-639, July.
  12. Johnson, George & Solon, Gary, 1986. "Estimates of the Direct Effects of Comparable Worth Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1117-25, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Andrea H. Beller, 1982. "Occupational Segregation by Sex: Determinants and Changes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 371-392.
  15. Barbara R. Bergmann, 1974. "Occupational Segregation, Wages and Profits When Employers Discriminate by Race or Sex," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 103-110, April.
  16. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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