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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.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number baker-00-01.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 11 May 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:baker-00-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  4. Michael Baker & Nicole Fortin, 2000. "Comparable Worth Comes to the Private Sector: The Case of Ontario," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0266, Econometric Society.
  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. Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Estimating the Social Return to Higher Education: Evidence From Longitudinal and Repeated Cross-Sectional Data," NBER Working Papers 9108, 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 426-71, July.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Kevin T. Reilly & Tony Wirjanto, 1997. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Females at the Establishment Level," Working Papers 98001, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Sep 1997.
  12. John DiNardo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1995. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," NBER Working Papers 5093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael P. Kidd & Michael Shannon, 1994. "An Update and Extension of the Canadian Evidence on Gender Wage Differentials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 918-38, November.
  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. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 7444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1999. "Asymptotic Properties of Weighted M-Estimators for Variable Probability Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1385-1406, November.
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