English title: Domestic Supply, Job-Specialisation and Sex-Differences in Pay

Author(s): Javier Polavieja -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


This article proposes an explanation of sex-differences in job-allocation and pay in different institutional contexts. Job-allocation calculations are considered to be related to (1) the distribution of housework and (2) the skill-specialization requirements of jobs. In a context of uncertainty and imperfect information, housework and job-specialization requirements generate a particular incentive structure for each sex. This incentive structure can, however, be altered by governmental action. Welfare policies and services are expected to affect allocation decisions at the micro-level both by reducing the risks of skill-depreciation for women as well as by increasing their intra-household bargaining power. Both effects combined should reduce the economic pay-offs of “traditional” sphere-specialization by sex. This model is tested using a sub-sample of married and cohabiting employees drawn for the second round of the European Social Survey. Results based on nested random-intercept regressions show that sex-differences in job-specialization and housework can explain the wage effects of occupational sex-composition and have a significant direct impact on hourly earnings. Welfare-regime interactions also suggest that the association between housework and earnings is much weaker in societies displaying high levels of defamilialization and decommodification.

Volume: 93

Issue: 3

From page no: 587

To page no: 605

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1007/S11205-008-9430-5

Journal: Social Indicators Research

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