Skip to main content
Log in

Occupational Segregation and the Gender Gap in Workplace Authority: National Versus Local Labor Markets

  • Published:
Sociological Forum

Abstract

Previous research linking occupational gender segregation to the workplace authority gap assumes that the effect of gender composition is invariant across occupations, ignoring the important distinction of whether an occupation's relevant labor market is local or national. We offer a new method for defining occupational labor markets and hypothesize that the effect of occupation gender composition on the authority gap will be strongest in national labor market occupations. Both sexes' odds of possessing work authority decline with the representation of women; this effect is strongest in the more desirable, national labor market occupations. Assuming occupations are part of one labor market results in understating the gender composition penalty for national labor market occupations.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Adler, Marina 1993 “Gender differences in job autonomy: The consequences of occupational segregation and authority position.” Sociological Quarterly 34:449-465.

    Google Scholar 

  • Agresti, Alan 1996 An Introduction to Categorical Data Analysis. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Allison, Paul D. 1999 Logistic Regression Using the SAS System: Theory and Application. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Allport, Gordon W. 1954 The Nature of Prejudice. New York: Addison-Wesley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baker, Scott 2000 “Defining ‘otherwise qualified applicants’: Applying an antitrust relevant-market analysis to disparate impact cases.”University of Chicago Law Review 67:725-747.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barkume, Anthony J. 1996 “Does proximity link job markets? Some comparisons between occupations and areas.” Compensation and Working Conditions Online 1(3).

  • Baron, James N., and Andrew, E. Newman 1989 “Pay the man: Effects of demographic composition on prescribed pay rates in the California civil service.” In Robert, T. Michael, Heidi, I. Hartmann, and Brigid, O'Farrell (eds.), Pay Equity: Empirical Inquiries: 107-130. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Becker, Gary S. 1975 Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis With Special Reference to Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Becker, Gary S.1985 “Human capital, effort, and the sexual division of labor.”Journal of Labor Economics 3:533-558.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beggs, John J., Wayne, J. Villemez, and Ruth, Arnold 1997 “Black population concentration and black–white inequality: Expanding the consideration of place and space effects.”Social Forces 76:65-91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bergmann, Barbara 1986 The Economic Emergence of Women. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bielby, Denise D., and William, T. Bielby 1988 “She works hard for the money: Household responsibilities and the allocation of work effort.” American Journal of Sociology 93:1031-1059.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blalock, Hurbert M. 1967 Towards a Theory of Minority Group Relations. New York: orkW.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blau, Peter M. 1977 Inequality and Heterogeneity. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blau, Peter M.1994 Structural Contexts of Opportunity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blum, Terry C., Dail, L. Fields, and Jodi, S. Goodman 1994 “Organization-level determinants of women in management.” Academy of Management Journal 37:241-268.

    Google Scholar 

  • Budig, Michelle J. 2002 “Male advantage and the gender composition of jobs: Who rides the glass escalator?” Social Problems 49:258-277.

    Google Scholar 

  • Census of Population and Housing 1990 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Supplemental Tabulations File, Part I [MRDF].

  • Cohen, Philip N. 2001 “Race, class, and labor markets: The white working class and racial composition of U.S. metropolitan areas.” Social Science Research 30:146-169.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, Philip N.2002 “Cohabitation and the declining marriage premium for men.” Work and Occupations 29:346-363.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cotter, David A., JoAnn, DeFiore, Joan, M. Hermsen, Brenda, M. Kowalewski, and Reeve, Vanneman 1997 “All women benefit: The macro-level effect of occupational integration on gender earnings inequality.” American Sociological Review 62: 714-734.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ehrenberg, Ronald G., and Robert, S. Smith 1996 Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy. New York: Addison-Wesley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ely, Robin J. 1994 “The effects of organizational demographics and social identity on relationships among professional women.” Administrative Science Quarterly 39:203-238.

    Google Scholar 

  • 1995 “The power in demography: Women's social constructions of gender identity at work.”Academy of Management Journal 38:589-634.

  • England, Paula 1992 Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

    Google Scholar 

  • Glass, Jennifer, and V. Camarigg 1992 “Gender, parenthood, and job-family compatibility.”American Journal of Sociology 98:131-151.

    Google Scholar 

  • Halaby, Charles N. 1979 “Job-specific sex differences in organizational reward attainment: Wage discrimination vs. rank segregation.” Social Forces 58:108-127.

    Google Scholar 

  • Helfgott, Roy B. 1974 Labor Economics. New York: Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hersch, Joni, and Leslie, S. Stratton 2000 “Household specialization and the male marriage wage premium.”Industrial and Labor Relations Review 54:78-94.

    Google Scholar 

  • Huffman, Matt L. 1995 “Organizations, internal labor market policies, and gender inequality in workplace supervisory authority.” Sociological Perspectives 38:381-397.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jacobs, Jerry A. 1989 “Long-term trends in occupational segregation by sex.” American Journal of Sociology 95:160-173.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jacobs, Jerry A., and Mary, Blair-Loy 1996 “Race, gender, local labor markets and occupational devaluation.” Sociological Focus 29:209-230.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jaffee, David 1989 “Gender inequality in workplace autonomy and authority.”Social Science Quarterly 70:375-390.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kanter, Rosabeth M. 1977 Men and Women of the Corporation. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaufman, Bruce E. 1991 The Economics of Labor Markets. Chicago: Dryden Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Konrad, A. M., Winter, S., and Gutek, B. A. 1992 “Diversity in work group sex composition: Implications for majority and minority workers.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations 10:115-140.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kraus, Vered, and Yuval, P. Yonay 2000 “The effect of occupational sex composition on the gender gap in workplace authority.”Social Science Research 29:583-605.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGuire, Gail M., and Barbara, F. Reskin 1993 “Authority hierarchies at work: The impact of race and sex.”Gender and Society 7:487-506.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nelson, Robert L., and William, P. Bridges 1999 Legalizing Gender Inequality: Courts, Markets, and Unequal Pay for Women in America. New York: orkC ambridgeU niversityP.

    Google Scholar 

  • Okamoto, Dina, and Paula, England 1999 “Is there a supply-side to occupational sex segregation?” Sociological Perspectives 42:557-582.

    Google Scholar 

  • Petersen, Trond, and Laurie, A. Morgan 1995 “Separate and unequal: Occupation-establishment sex segregation and the gender wage gap.”American Journal of Sociology 101:329-365.

    Google Scholar 

  • Polachek, Solomon 1979 “Occupational self-selection: A human capital approach to sex differences in occupational structure.” Review of Economics and Statistics 58:60-69.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reid, Lori L. 1998 “Devaluing women and minorities: The effects of race/ethnic and sex composition of occupations on wage levels.”Work and Occupations 25:511-536.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reskin, Barbara F. 1988 “Bringing the men back in: Sex differentiation and the devaluation of women's work.” Gender and Society 2:58-81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reskin, Barbara F., Debra, B. McBrier, and Julie, A. Kmec 1999 “The determinants and consequences of workplace sex and race composition.”Annual Review of Sociology 25:335-361.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reskin, Barbara, and Irene, Padavic 1994 Women and Men at Work. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reskin, Barbara, and Patricia, Roos 1990 Job Queues, Gender Queues: Explaining Women's Inroads into Male Occupations. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reskin, Barbara F., and Catherine, Ross 1992 “Job, authority, and earnings among managers: The continuing significance of sex.” Work and Occupations 19:342-365.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenfeld, Rachel A., Mark, E. Van Buren, and Arne, L. Kalleberg 1998 “Gender differences in supervisory authority: Variation among advanced industrialized democracies.”Social Science Research 27:23-49.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schroedel, Jean R. 1985 Alone in a Crowd: Women in the Trades Tell Their Stories. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spaeth, Joe 1985 “Job power and earnings.”American Sociological Review 50:603-617.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tam, Tony 1997 “Sex segregation and occupational gender inequality in the United States: Devaluation or specialized training?”American Journal of Sociology 102:1652-1692.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tharenou, Phyllis 1999 “Is there a link between family structures and women's and men's managerial career advancement?” Journal of Organizational Behavior 20:837-863.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tienda, Marta, and Ding-Tzann, Lii 1987 “Minority concentration and earnings inequality: Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians compared.” American Journal of Sociology 93:141-165.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tilly, Charles 1998 Durable Inequality. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald 1993 Gender and Racial Inequality at Work: The Sources and Consequences of Job Segregation. New York: ILR Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsui, A. S., and C. O'Reilly 1989 “Beyond simple demographic effects: The importance of relational demography in superior-subordinate dyads.”Academy of Management Journal 32:402-423.

    Google Scholar 

  • U.S. Department of Labor 1977 Dictionary of Occupational Titles, 4th edn. Government Printing Office.

  • Wallace, Michael, Kevin, T. Leicht, and Don, S. Grant 1993 “Positional power, class, and individual earnings inequality: Advancing new structuralist explanations.”Sociological Quarterly 34:85-109.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wharton, Amy S., and James, N. Baron 1987 “So happy together? The impact of gender segregation on men at work.”American Sociological Review 52:574-587.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, Philip N.1991 “Satisfaction? The psychological impact of gender segregation on women at work.”Sociological Quarterly 32:365-587.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wolf, Wendy C., and Neil, Fligstein 1979 “Sex and authority in the workplace: The causes of sexual inequality.”American Sociological Review 44:235-252.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, Erik O. 1979 Class Structure and Income Determination. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, Erik O. and Janeen, Baxter 2000 “The glass ceiling hypothesis: A comparative study of the United States, Sweden, and Australia.”Gender and Society 14:275-294.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, Erik O., Janeen, Baxter, and Gunn, E. Birkelund 1995 “The gender gap in workplace authority: A cross-national study.” American Sociological Review 60:407-435.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yoder, J. D. 1991 “Rethinking tokenism: Looking beyond numbers.”Gender and Society 5:178-192.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matt L. Huffman.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Huffman, M.L., Cohen, P.N. Occupational Segregation and the Gender Gap in Workplace Authority: National Versus Local Labor Markets. Sociological Forum 19, 121–147 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:SOFO.0000019650.97510.de

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:SOFO.0000019650.97510.de

Navigation