Women and Labor Market Segregation Across Occuptions and Industries
Committee ChairOaxaca, Ronald
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractNearly all studies of gender differences in wages and advancement find that the primary difference between the economic standing of women and men lies in their distribution across occupations and industries. In my dissertation I use micro-econometric techniques to examine different aspects of the evolution and impact of gender-specific occupational structures. The first essay evaluates the capacity of a hierarchical model of discrimination and segregation to explain the gender wage gap within firms for a regional grocery store chain that lost a title VII class action lawsuit for not promoting women into the higher managerial positions. In the process the analysis raises questions about the appropriateness of standard wage model specifications for making inferences about wage determination in a setting where wages for each job are set equal for men and women by precise union rules. The second essay expands the theory of hierarchical segregation to examine changes in the wage and occupational structure over time with panel data. This allows one to analyze the effects of hierarchical segregation over time and observe whether the filing of the lawsuit alone is sufficient to change discriminatory behavior by the firm. The final essay examines how major economic crises, including two World Wars and a Great Depression, led to changes in gender segregation in industrial and clerical jobs.