Journal Article
Segregation of women into low-paying occupations in the United States

We extend the conventional framework for measuring segregation to consider the stratification of occupations by gender, i.e. when either women or men are predominantly segregated into low-paying jobs. We propose the use of the concentration curve to analyse first-order stochastic dominance, and concentration indices to obtain complete orderings and to quantify the phenomenon. With this approach, well-rooted in the literature of economic inequality, we show that the decline in gender segregation of occupations in the US over time was accompanied by a deeper and longer reduction in their stratification.

The distinctive characteristics of men and women cannot account for segregation or stratification levels. The profound changes in the composition of the workforce over time by education or marital status, however, did help to substantially explain their trends. The level of stratification was farther reduced by gender-biased changes in the earnings structure, while changes in conditional occupational distributions only contributed to these declines before 1990.

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