, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 511–521 | Cite as

The effect of the sex composition of jobs on starting wages in an organization: Findings from the NLSY

  • Paula EnglandEmail author
  • Lori L. Reid
  • Barbara Stanek Kilbourne
Labor Force


We show that individuals in a job with a higher percentage of females earn lower starting wages with an employing organization. This holds true with controls for individuals’ human capital, job demands for skill or difficult working conditions, and detailed industry. We use a measure of sex composition that applies to detailed jobs: cells in a three-digit census occupation by three-digit census industry matrix. We use pooled panel data from the 19791987 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The unit of analysis is the spell-the time in which a person worked for one organization. The dependent variable is the first wage in the spell. We use models with fixed-effects to control for unmeasured, unchanging individual characteristics; we also show results from OLS and weighted models for comparison. The negative effect on wages of the percentage female in one’s job is robust across procedures for black women, white women, and white men. For black men the sign is always negative but the coefficient is often nonsignificant.


National Longitudinal Survey Wage Penalty Percentage Female Comparable Worth Human Resource Research 
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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula England
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lori L. Reid
    • 2
  • Barbara Stanek Kilbourne
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of ArizonaUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyVanderbilt UniversityUSA

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