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Why is there a Gender Wage Gap According to Occupational Prestige?: An Analysis of the Gender Wage Gap by Occupational Prestige and Family Obligations in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2010 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 53, no 2, 99-117 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that women receive lower wage returns to attained occupational prestige than do men. In this article I examine whether the gender difference in wage return for attained occupational prestige can be explained by men’s and women’s different family obligations, and whether gender differences in work characteristics, which are difficult to combine with family duties, account for some of the gender wage gap in returns for attained occupational prestige. If women’s family obligations were a major cause of women’s disadvantage, the negative interaction between women and occupational prestige with regard to wages would be larger for mothers and married/cohabiting women than for single women without children. Results show a gender wage gap between married/cohabiting men and women with children that grow with occupational prestige. However, the interaction between gender and prestige is insignificant among single women and men and among married/cohabiting respondents without children. Furthermore, when controlling for time-consuming work, the gender wage gap for married/cohabiting respondents with children according to occupational prestige narrows, especially in occupations with high prestige.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 53, no 2, 99-117 p.
Keyword [en]
gender wage gap, labour market, motherhood penalty, occupational prestige, work characteristic, work-family balance
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34082DOI: 10.1177/0001699310365627ISI: 000279377700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34082DiVA: diva2:284165
Available from: 2010-01-04 Created: 2010-01-04 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mind the Gap: Essays on Explanations of Gender Wage Inequality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mind the Gap: Essays on Explanations of Gender Wage Inequality
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The gender wage gap is accounted for to a substantial degree by the sex composition of occupations. The present thesis examines the mechanisms that produce this pattern. In particular, the theory of devaluation, currently the most widely accepted sociological explanation, is tested. The empirical findings, reported in three self-contained essays, question this line of explanation. All results are based on Swedish data: the Level of Living surveys (LNU; essays I and II) and administrative labour market registers (essay III).

In Essay I the association between occupational prestige and occupational sex composition is examined. The association is non-linear, with gender mixed occupations having the highest prestige. Further, care work does not have lower prestige than other kinds of work. These results are inconsistent with expectations derived from devaluation theory. The analysis also shows that the wage returns to occupational prestige are lower for women than for men.

Essay II examines why women receive relatively low returns to prestige. Family related factors are shown to be crucial. The gender difference in pay-off to prestige is thus marked among married/cohabiting employees with children but insignificant among singles as well as among childless married/cohabiting women and men. The gender wage gap in high-prestige occupations is largely due to differences between women and men in work characteristics difficult to reconcile with family duties.

In essay III the functional form of the relation between wages and occupational sex composition is investigated. In the cross-section gender mixed occupations have the highest wages. Panel data tend to confirm this pattern: mobility from strongly male or female dominated occupations to more gender mixed occupations is associated with relatively high rates of wage growth. Further, there is a wage premium for care work but a wage penalty for other service work. These findings do not support devaluation theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, 2010. 45 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 78
Keyword
Gender wage gap, labour market, occupational prestige, devaluation theory, work-family balance, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34058 (URN)978-91-7155-992-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-02-19, hörsal 7, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. 3: Accepted.

Available from: 2010-01-28 Created: 2010-01-04 Last updated: 2013-08-06Bibliographically approved

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