The impact of occupational sex-segregation on wages: evidence from Britain
Research has consistently demonstrated a negative and significant relationship between occupational feminization and wages. Pay differences between male- and female-dominated occupations have traditionally been attributed to societal mechanisms that have historically undervalued the work mainly performed by women. More recently, empirical evidence from the US and Europe has supported human capital theories based on skill specialization. I examine whether lower wages in female-dominated occupations in Britain can be explained by differences in specialized human capital, allowing for other potentially mediating factors. Results from base models suggest a strong and negative relationship between occupational feminization and wages. The inclusion of unobservables and measures of specialized human capital reduces but fails to eliminate the observed wage penalties.
Essex Graduate Journal of Sociology