Male-female differential status and opportunity in the labor market: A study of the correlates of occupational sex-segregation in Chile, Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey

Bediako, Grace A.  University of Pennsylvania. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1988. 8816151.

Abstract (summary)

Attempts to account for the prevalance of segregation and women's inferior position in the labor markets still leave unexplained the persistence of sex-segregation in the presence of increasing female labor force participation. The study assesses the importance of role incompatibility as a mechanism of occupational segregation and the extent to which women's life cycle circumstances shape their occupational orientation and perpetuate labor market segregation.

It tests the hypotheses that: conditioned by their need to combine their domestic and labor market roles, women who enter the labor market tend to choose occupations deemed to be compatible with domestic responsibilities; and that the sex-differentiation of roles within the home implies that compared to women, men's occupations are influenced less by life cycle variables than other variables.

Based on analyses of cross-sectional data, from 1970/1971 Public Use Samples censuses of four developing countries, and using descriptive statistics and Ordinary Least Squares regression for standardizing the effect of concomitant variables, it is found that despite the cultural diversity, women in all four countries confront role incompatibility in the labor market.

There are indications of life cycle effects on occupational choice, but these neither occur consistently across life cycle variables nor across countries, and no persistent pattern of linking occupational choice and life cycle variables is observed.

Male-female comparisons point to age as the most important explanatory variable predicting male labor supply, while for females it is the "status in the household" for Chile and Indonesia, ethnicity for China and area residence for Turkey. The sex composition of women's occupations is, in contrast, influenced largely by the area of residence, in Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey; and by the "status in the household" in Chile. Education emerges as by far the most important variable for men, while explaining a substantial proportion of the variations in the sex composition of women's occupations, compared to any of the life cycle variables.

Overall, the analyses suggest that non-life cycle variables are the more important correlates of women's occupational attainment and that "role incompatibility" cannot adequately account for the persistence of occupational sex-segregation.

Indexing (details)

Labor economics;
Womens studies
0938: Demographics
0510: Labor economics
0453: Womens studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences
Male-female differential status and opportunity in the labor market: A study of the correlates of occupational sex-segregation in Chile, Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey
Bediako, Grace A.
Number of pages
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 49/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Miller, Ann R.
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
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