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New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data

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  • Kimberly Bayard
  • Judith Hellerstein
  • David Neumark
  • Kenneth Troske

Abstract

We assemble a new matched employer-employee data set covering essentially all industries and occupations across all regions of the U.S. We use this data set to re-examine the question of the relative contributions to the overall sex gap in wages of sex segregation vs. wage differences by sex within occupation, industry, establishment, and occupation-establishment cells. This new data set is especially useful because earlier research on this topic relied on data sets that covered only a narrow range of industries, occupations, or regions. Our results indicate that a sizable fraction of the sex gap in wages is accounted for by the segregation of women into lower-paying occupations, industries, establishments, and occupations within establishments. Nonetheless, a substantial part of the sex gap in wages remains attributable to the individual's sex. This latter finding contrasts sharply with the conclusions of previous research (especially Groshen, 1991), which indicated that sex segregation accounted for essentially all of the sex wage gap. Further research into the sources of within-establishment within-occupation sex wage differences is therefore much more important than previously thought.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7003 Note: LS
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    1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
    2. William J. Carrington & Kenneth R. Troske, 1998. "Sex Segregation in U.S. Manufacturing," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 445-464, April.
    3. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
    4. 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.
    5. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    6. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    7. Elaine Sorensen, 1989. "Measuring the Pay Disparity between Typically Female Occupations and other Jobs: A Bivariate Selectivity Approach," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(4), pages 624-639, July.
    8. Elaine Sorensen, 1990. "The Crowding Hypothesis and Comparable Worth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 55-89.
    9. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "The Structure of the Female/Male Wage Differential: Is It Who You Are, What You Do, or Where You Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 457-472.
    10. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
    11. Polachek, Solomon William, 1975. "Differences in Expected Post-school Investments as a Determinant of Market Wage Differentials," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 451-470, June.
    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 1117-1125, December.
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