Gender Pay Inequality and Occupational Change in Canada, 1900-1930

Posted: 17 Jan 2010

Date Written: 1996


Using material available in the Canadian censuses, we construct some of the most detailed historical estimates for the industrialized world for occupational structure and the gender pay gap from 1900 to 1930. Our findings suggest that pay inequality in Canada diminished over the period under study, although the rate of pay received by women remained substantially below that of men. This decline is found to be due, to a large extent, to the changing occupational structure between women and men over time which involved both the gradual dominance of women in clerical work and the absence of any change in labor market segmentation. We also find that, for each year examined in this study, the differential distribution of women and men between sectors did not play a large role in accounting for the pay gap.

Keywords: Canada, Gender, Pay inequality, Occupational structure

JEL Classification: J16, D63, J24

Suggested Citation

Altman, Morris, Gender Pay Inequality and Occupational Change in Canada, 1900-1930 (1996). Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 25, 1996. Available at SSRN:

Morris Altman (Contact Author)

University of Newcastle ( email )

University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308

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