International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Gender Composition of Occupations and Earnings: Why Enter a Female Dominated Occupation?
Peter G. Toumanoff, Timothy J. Keaveny

Given the inverse relationship between the proportion of females employed in an occupation and earnings, why enter a female-dominated occupation? It has been argued that an individual’s total compensation from work is a combination of wage compensation plus non-pecuniary compensation associated with job characteristics, and when choosing an occupation, one selects the utility-maximizing combination of wages and job characteristics. Our findings support the theory that employee and job characteristics are rewarded differently in non-female dominated (NFD) and female dominated (FD) occupations, and that people choose occupations that reward their attributes more or penalize them less. Comparison of the variables significantly related to salary among FD occupations, NFD occupations and the full sample reveals that 9 of 13 variables significantly related to salary among NFD occupations are also significantly related to salary, with the same sign, among the full sample. However, none of these 13 variables is related to salary among FD occupations. This suggests that an individual’s labor force attributes are rewarded differently in FD occupations compared to NFD occupations and therefore any individual with a particular set of attributes can expect to be rewarded differently in a NFD occupation than in a FD occupation.

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