New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data
62 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2000 Last revised: 12 Oct 2010
Date Written: March 1999
We assemble a new matched employer-employee data set covering essentially all industries and occupations across all regions of the U.S. We use this data set to re-examine the question of the relative contributions to the overall sex gap in wages of sex segregation vs. wage differences by sex within occupation, industry, establishment, and occupation-establishment cells. This new data set is especially useful because earlier research on this topic relied on data sets that covered only a narrow range of industries, occupations, or regions. Our results indicate that a sizable fraction of the sex gap in wages is accounted for by the segregation of women into lower-paying occupations, industries, establishments, and occupations within establishments. Nonetheless, a substantial part of the sex gap in wages remains attributable to the individual's sex. This latter finding contrasts sharply with the conclusions of previous research (especially Groshen, 1991), which indicated that sex segregation accounted for essentially all of the sex wage gap. Further research into the sources of within-establishment within-occupation sex wage differences is therefore much more important than previously thought.
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