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Separate and Unequal: Occupation-Establishment Sex Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap

The authors report the first large-scale empirical investigation of within-job wage differences between men and women in the same occupation and establishment, using data first on blue-collar and clerical employees from 16 U.S. industries in 1974-83 and second on employees in 10 professional and administrative occupations. The authors report three findings. First, wage differences at the occupation-establishment level were small even without controls for individual-level characteristics. Hence, within-job wage discrimination was much less important than occupation-establishment segregation for observed wage differences. Second, establishment segregation was an important cause, although not as important as occupational segregation, of wage differences. Third, establishment segregation was extensive, as was occupational segregation.