Thesis Example on the Issue of Gender Wage Gap

6 pages
1460 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.




Statement Problem

Purpose of the Study


2. 0 Literature Review

2.1Theoretical Literature 

2.2 Empirical Literature

2.3 Conceptual Framework 

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Variables 

3.1.1 Dependent Variables

3.1.2 Independent Variables 

3.2 Hypothesis

4.0 Findings

4.1 Univariate findings and Bivariate findings

4.2 Multivariate Findings

5. 0 Discussion

5.1 Conclusion 

5.2 Limitations and Policy Implications 

6.0 References

7.0 Appendices



The causes of the difference in earnings between men and women is a topic that has been under investigation since the 1970s, in fact during the 1970s and 1980s the investigation on this topic was rather thorough. During this period, the difference in pay was explained mostly using the human capital context theories and use of the aspect of discrimination. Human capital theory for instance stated that womens success in the labor market is less as compared to men because of differences in characteristics of individuals in terms of experience and education. As a measure to reduce the inequality in gender earnings most government by then created policies that targeted strongly towards increasing education levels of many women and increasing their rates of participation in the labor forces then. At the same time the discrimination issue was tackled the policy of equal pay for equal work a legislation that was first implemented in Netherlands in the year 1975. This strategy has somehow been successful in various states through women realization of great improvement in their educational level attainment. In addition, an increase in women employment rate has been experienced with every young group for each age category (OECD, 2002). This therefore implies that women labor market participation has successfully been increasing but the persistence of gender pay gap is a puzzle yet to solved leaving us with the question; why hasnt this gap been closed yet?

More recent research internationally on the aspect of gender wage gap have suggested that the differences in the pay between women and men might not only be as a result of the difference in various human capital variables but also affected by other factors such as the countrys wage structure extra. For instance the different prices that are set up for various labor market skills that is the measured and unmeasured skills and the earnings that one receives for being employed in a particular sector of the economy (Blau & Kahn, 1996). Since there is a difference in terms of experience and working in different sectors between men and women, a change in the returns in terms of experience or a difference in levels of sectoral pay will affect the gender wage gap in one way or another(Blau & Kahn, 2003). These changes in the wage structures in terms of prices could in the process offset any progress women might have made in terms of equalizing the human capital that is characteristics.

On the other hand, other studies that have been done about workers engagement in various occupations have indicated that the average earnings of majority of women have been just a smaller percentage of the mens earnings (Canadian Statistics, 1999). The aspect of gender wage gap was also observed within various occupational domains like: corporate (Jacobs, 1992; Frieze et al 1990), academia (Bellas, 1994), law(Kay et al, 1995) extra. For any social scientist interested in explaining the aspect of gender wage gap must be able to give answers to two important questions; (1) is work done by women considered to be less value when compared to work that men do?, and (2) is job accessibility different according to gender?.(Drolet, 1999). If they find the answers to be affirmative then it implies sexism still have great impact on the issue of wage gap, (Unger et al, 1993).

Noteworthy, another reason for gender wage gap is stereotypes. Stereotypes refers to associating the personal traits, their roles, occupations and their physical attributes with a certain social group (Deaux and Lewis, 1984). Stereotyping refers to the act of using different stereotypes so as form an impression of a person (Brewer, 1996). Clearly, it is impossible for all the stereotypes that are linked to gender that can affect how employers treat women employees to be exhausted in this thesis. The two wage gap related stereotypes that are explored in this thesis are those that seem to have greater impacts and which have not changed over years. These are gender segregation with regard to labor force and those cultural norms that stipulates how women carry many domestic responsibilities like childcare as compared to men (Green & Russo, 1993; Shipiro et al, 1987 ).

Given the outcome in the international research, questions are raised as to whether the upstream swimming (Blau & Kahn, 1997) has played a role in the persistent gender wage gap worldwide. By using the micro data from various decades since 1970s, the aspect of gender wage gap is decomposed into various factors like the changes experienced in both the wage structure and human capital. With the aim of illustrating a better reason as to why women earn less than men.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In 1967 when the Canadian Statistics first did its report on gender wage gap, women who were working full time by then were only being paid about 58% of what men earned then. By 1997, which is the most recent year of the available data, there was a reduction in the wage gap even though the women-men difference in pay still remained high at 72.5%(Canadian Statistics, 1999). Labor force segregation on the gender lines has frequently been cited to be among the reasons for the difference in wag pay in men and women working fulltime(England, 1992; Armstrong, 1994; McDermott, 1996). Men and women occupy different positions in organizations with men occupying more positions and women (Unger and Saundra, 1993; Feagin et al,1995). Moreover, men occupy most positions with higher wages like finance and engineering. It also has been estimated that above 50% of women will have to change their occupations in order to achieve mens job distribution(Padavic and Reskin, 1994).

Segregation of jobs among men and women in organizations tend to occur at different levels that a firm has or in departments extra(Bielby et al,1986). Furthermore, using wage data collected and analyzed the whole year it shows that a particular pattern of small gap for new people joining labor force and a wider gap of existing workers(England, 1992). Another contribution to the gendered wage gap could be that some people especially women desire to avoid their families being shortchanged hence the tend to refrain from achieving the required educational training needed for them to get those well paying jobs with time consuming professional careers(Eccles,1994).

The many attempts to clearly quantify how several factors has contributed to the existence of the wage gap shows that even given the statistical control measures for occupation among other works and the variables of education history like job tenure, years of schooling, did not manage to explain why there is over 50% wage gap existing between men and women working fulltime(Jagacinski et al, 1987; Kilbourne et al, 1994; Drolet,1999; Wellington,1994; Christofides & Swindinsky, 1994) . Sociologists and Psychologists argue that the reason for existence of gender wage gap is because of gender discrimination (Wilson,1996). Economists on the other hand argue that the gender wage gap could be as a result of different market factors like a surplus of workers in the market hence the low wages or other workers characteristics that are immeasurable (Perlman & Pike,1994; Fuchs, 1988).

The fact that the differences in gender average wage is left unexplained even though it is detected at career entry when there is no difference in experiential factors indicates how women discrimination is still a major problem even in todays labor market. For instance, an American study found the wage ratio of female to male to be at 84% among young employees in various occupation (Marini & Fan,1997). The difference in gender pay is also seen among the highly educated professionals in the workforce.

The study on why and how men and women end up inhabiting separate spheres in the work world and why women end up getting the lower average wages has been carried out by many educational disciplines. Some investigators who worked in various perspectives have show some disagreements about the role that sexism have in maintaining the gap in wages between men and women. To summarize this, economists claim that different market forces minimizes or eradicate sexism at work by emphasizing on the women choices in their explanation on segregation and pay differentials (Christofides & Swidinsky, 1994; Fuchs 1988; Hakim, 1995; Gunderson, 1998). Sociologists and psychologists on the other hand are more inclined to state that sexism plays a major role in some of the existing gender disparities, though there are different opinion as to what mechanism underlies the inequities observed currently. Some also contends segregation and pay gap to be the by- products from the methods of discrimination that are built in organization systems for a long time and the fact that employers o...

Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: