Occupational segregation, gender wage differences and trade reforms: Epirical applications for urban Columbia
This DPhil thesis comprises three empirical essays that survey the evolution of gender differences in the labour market of urban Colombia since the 1980s. The first essay examines the evolution of gender segregation using occupational indices between 1986 and 2004, and presents a decomposition of their changes over time using a technique proposed by Deutsch et al. (2006). We find that a substantial proportion of the reduction in segregation indices is driven by changes in both the employment structure of occupations and the increasing participation of female labour observed over these years. The second essay assesses the effects of occupational segregation on the gender wage gap in urban Colombia between 1984 and 1999. The empirical strategy involves the estimation of a counterfactual distribution of female workers across occupations, as if they had been treated the same as their male counterparts. This provides a basis to formulate a decomposition of the gender wage gap in which the explained and unexplained portions of the gender distribution of jobs are explicitly incorporated. The results indicate that the unequal distribution of women and men across occupations actually helps, on average, to reduce gender pay differences in urban Colombia, particularly in the ‘informal’ segment where the labour income differential between women and men is the largest. The third and final essay examines the effects of trade liberalisation on the gender composition of employment across manufacturing industries in urban Colombia from 1981 to 2000. The empirical strategy involves a comparison of estimates drawn from different panel data techniques. As a main finding, we verify that increasing trade flows are associated with higher proportions of female employment.
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