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More Women, Lower Pay? Occupational sex composition, wages and wage growth
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2013 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 56, no 3, 227-245 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research consistently shows that the share of females in an occupation is negatively associated with wages, and this has frequently been interpreted as an expression of devaluation of women’s work. However, few studies have described the detailed shape of     the relationship between wages and occupational sex composition. Using Swedish register data from 2001 and 2003, I advance our understanding of the devaluation process by studying the functional form more closely in both the cross-section and panel.                     The analyses reveal a non-linear relationship between sex composition and wages, where the highest wages for both men and women are earned in sex-integrated occupations. Second, studying the wage payoffs of people moving across occupations with varying sex compositions shows that both sexes gain by moving to relatively sex-integrated occupations (about 25 to 54% female).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 56, no 3, 227-245 p.
Keyword [en]
devalutation theory, gender wage gap, mobility, occupational sex composition, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92342DOI: 10.1177/0001699313484480ISI: 000321491900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92342DiVA: diva2:638567
Available from: 2013-07-31 Created: 2013-07-31 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically 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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