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Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988


  • Michael Baker
  • Nicole M. Fortin


The relationship between occupational gender composition and wages is the basis of pay equity/comparable worth legislation. A number of previous studies have examined this relationship in US data, identifying some of the determinants of low wages in ``female jobs'' well as important limitations of public policy in this area. There is little evidence, however, from other jurisdictions. This omission is particularly disturbing in the case of Canada, which now has some of the most extensive pay equity legislation in the world. In this paper we provide a comprehensive picture, circa the late 1980's, of the occupational gender segregation in Canada and its consequences for wages. The sample period precedes many provincial pay equity initiatives and thus the results should provide a baseline for the evaluation of this legislation. We find that the estimated wage penalties in female jobs in Canada are generally much smaller than the estimates for the United States. Although there is some heterogeneity across worker groups on average, the link between female wages and gender composition is small and not statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker & Nicole M. Fortin, 1999. "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988," NBER Working Papers 7371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7371
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie Drolet & Karen Mumford, 2012. "The Gender Pay Gap for Private-Sector Employees in Canada and Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 50(3), pages 529-553, September.
    2. Michele Campolieti Campolieti, 2003. "Disability insurance eligibility criteria and the labor supply of older men," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(3), pages 1-7.
    3. Card, David & de la Rica, Sara, 2004. "The Effect of Firm-Level Contracts on the Structure of Wages: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1421, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    5. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
    6. Andrén, Daniela & Andrén, Thomas, 2007. "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Romania: From Planned Equality to Market Inequality?," IZA Discussion Papers 3152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Alena Bicakova & Stepan Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp504, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    8. Štìpán Jurajda & Michal Franta, 2007. "Occupational Gender Segregation in the Czech Republic (in English)," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 57(5-6), pages 255-271, August.
    9. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Mauro Lanati, 2013. "Estimating the elasticity of trade: the trade share approach," LEM Papers Series 2013/10, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
    12. Francisco Alcalá & Pedro Hernández, 2010. "Firms’ main market, human capital, and wages," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 433-458, September.
    13. Lin Xiu & Morley Gunderson, 2015. "Occupational segregation and the gender earnings gap in China: devils in the details," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 711-732, August.
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    15. Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2017. "Every Breath You Take—Every Dollar You’ll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 848-902.
    16. Janet Currie & Lucas Davis & Michael Greenstone & Reed Walker, 2013. "Do Housing Prices Reflect Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from More than 1600 Toxic Plant Openings and Closings," NBER Working Papers 18700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Luiza Antonie & Miana Plesca & Jennifer Teng, 2016. "Heterogeneity in the Gender Wage Gap in Canada," Working Papers 1603, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    18. Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2004. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Quits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 159-188, January.
    19. Mauro Lanati, 2013. "Estimating the elasticity of trade: the trade share approach," Discussion Papers 2013/159, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    20. Measham, Thomas & Fleming, David & Schandl, Heinz, 2015. "A Conceptual Model of the Socioeconomic Impacts of Unconventional Fossil Fuel Extraction," MPRA Paper 68523, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Nov 2015.
    21. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2003. "Achievement awards for high school matriculation: Evidence from randomized trials," Natural Field Experiments 00202, The Field Experiments Website.
    22. Head, Keith & Jing, Ran & Swenson, Deborah L., 2014. "From Beijing to Bentonville: Do multinational retailers link markets?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 79-92.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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