Occupational segregation a weak reed to hang #genderwagegap @FairnessNZ

NZ has a gender wage gap of 6% according to the OECD and 12% according to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, with 30% of that explained by occupational segregation. That is 2 to 4 percentage points.

You have to explain occupational segregation. Men are represented more in occupations that are riskier. They are paid more for that. There are systematic differences in the occupational choices of married parents, single parents and single mothers regarding the risks of injury. Again, that feeds into wages.

Occupational segregation explains 2 to 4 percentage points of wages. Given that risk premiums – danger money – and trading lower wages for greater flexibility in a job can easily reduce wages or increase them by 2-4%, occupational segregation is simply a proxy for measurement error.

Still more of wage premiums has to be poured into this 2-4% of wages such as occupational segregation in unsocial work hours. Many more women than men work 9 to 5 during the week. Men would then have a wage premium for working nights and weekends. A hell a lot has to be explained away by just 2 to 4% wages.

What does undervalued work mean? Does it mean it is very profitable to employ women in certain occupations such as caring. That implies that high profits will lead new firms to enter these industries bidding up wages and equalising them with other competing jobs.

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