The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 315–338 | Cite as

Movin’ on up: Hierarchical occupational segmentation and gender wage gaps

  • Dina Shatnawi
  • Ronald Oaxaca
  • Michael Ransom


Our study evaluates and extends existing wage decomposition methodologies that seek to measure the contributions of endowments, pure wage discrimination, and job segregation. We employ data from a regional supermarket that faced a Title VII class-action lawsuit to examine how standard wage specifications integrated with a model of hierarchical segregation might perform in wage decompositions. Our results show that a common misspecification of the wage structure leads to false inferences about the presence of pure wage discrimination. We demonstrate the generalizability of our methodology using CPS data.


Gender discrimination Job segregation Wage decompositions 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baldwin, M., Butler, R., Johnson W.: A hierarchical theory of occupational segregation and wage discrimination. Econ. Inq. 39(1), 94–110 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bayard, K., Hellerstein, J, Neumark, D., Troske K.: New evidence on sex segregation and sex differences in wages from matched employee-employer data. J. Labor. Econ. 21(4), 887–922 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bergmann, B.: Does the market for women’s labor need fixing? J. Econ. Perspect. 3(1), 43–60 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gardeazabal, J., Ugidos A.: More on identification in detailed wage decompositions. R Rev. Econ. Stat. 86(4), 1034–1036 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jones, F.L.: On decomposing the wage gap: a critical comment on blinder’s method. J. Hum. Resour. 18(1), 126–130 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jurajda, S., Paligorova, P.: Czech female managers and their wages. Labour Econ. 16(3), 342–351 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Malkiel, B., Malkiel J.: Male-female pay differentials in professional employment. Am. Econ. Rev. 63(4), 693–705 (1973)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Oaxaca, R.: Male-female wage differentials in urban labor markets. Int. Econ. Rev. 14(3), 693–709 (1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Oaxaca, R., Ransom, M.: Identification in detailed wage decompositions. Rev. Econ. Stat. 81(1), 154–157 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Oaxaca, R., Ransom, M.: Using econometric models for intrafirm equity salary adjustments. J. Econ. Inequal. 1(3), 221–249 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ransom, M., Oaxaca, R.: Intrafirm mobility and sex differences in pay. Ind. Lab. Relat. Rev. 58(2), 219–237 (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sarnikar, S., Sorensen, T., Oaxaca, R.: Do you receive a lighter prison sentence because you are a woman? An economic analysis of federal criminal sentencing guidelines. Working Paper IZA DP No. 2870 (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sorensen, E.: Measuring the pay disparity between typically female occupations and other jobs: a bivariate selectivity approach. Ind. Lab. Relat. Rev. 42(4), 624–639 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sorensen, E.: The crowding hypothesis and comparable worth. J. Hum. Resour. 25(1), 55–89 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yun, M.: A simple solution to the identification problem in detailed wage decompositions. Econ. Inquiry. 43(4), 766–772 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© © Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Business and Public PolicyNaval Postgraduate SchoolMontereyUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Arizona and IZATucsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsBrigham Young University and IZAProvoUSA

Personalised recommendations