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The Gender Composition and Wages: Why is Canada Different from the United States?

Author

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  • Baker, Michael
  • Fortin, Nicole

Abstract

The correlation of occupational gender composition and wages is the basis of pay equity/comparable worth legislation. A number of previous studies have examined this correlation in US data, identifying some of the determinants of low wages in "female jobs", as 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. We also draw explicit comparisons of our findings to evidence for the United States. We find that the link between female wages and gender composition is much stronger in the United States than in Canada, where it is generally small and not statistically significant. The relatively more advantageous position of women in female jobs in Canada is found to be linked to higher unionization rates and the industry-wage effects of "public goods" sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Baker, Michael & Fortin, Nicole, 2000. "The Gender Composition and Wages: Why is Canada Different from the United States?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000140e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2000140e
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    2. Kenneth R Troske & William J Carrington, 1992. "Gender Segregation Small Firms," Working Papers 92-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised May 1993.
    3. W. Craig Riddell, 1993. "Unionization in Canada and the United States: A Tale of Two Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 109-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Denise J. Doiron & W. Craig Riddell, 1994. "The Impact of Unionization on Male-Female Earnings Differences in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 504-534.
    5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
    6. Thomas Lemieux, 1993. "Unions and Wage Inequality in Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 69-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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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    9. Kevin Reilly & Tony Wirjanto, 1999. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Females at the Establishment Level," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 906-929, August.
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    11. Berube, Charles & Morissette, Rene, 1996. "Longitudinal Aspects of Earnings Inequality in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996094e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    12. Helwege, Jean, 1992. "Sectoral Shifts and Interindustry Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 55-84, January.
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    14. William J. Carrington & Kenneth R. Troske, 1995. "Gender Segregation in Small Firms," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 503-533.
    15. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Prus, Steven G., 2011. "Comparing social determinants of self-rated health across the United States and Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 50-59, July.
    2. Dickson Thomas NDAMSA & Aloysius Mom NJONG & Francis Menjo BAYE & Jackson YOUYEM, 2015. "Investigating the role of male advantage and female disadvantage in explaining the discrimination effect of the gender pay gap in the Cameroon labor market. Oaxaca-Ransom decomposition approach," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 1(34), pages 55-72, May.

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