Occupational Gender Segregation, Globalization, and Gender Earnings Inequality in U.S. Metropolitan Area


Gauchat, Gordon, Maura Kelly, and Michael Wallace. 2012. "Occupational Gender Segregation, Globalization, and Gender Earning Inequality in U.S. Metropolitan Areas." Gender and Society 26 (5): 718–47.

Authors: Gordon Gauchat, Maura Kelly, Michael Wallace


Previous research on gender-based economic inequality has emphasized occupational segregation as the leading explanatory factor for the gender wage gap. Yet the globalization of the U.S. economy has affected gender inequality in fundamental ways and potentially diminished the influence of occupational gender segregation. We examine whether occupational gender segregation continues to be the main determinant of gender earnings inequality and to what extent globalization processes have emerged as important determinants of inequality between women’s and men’s earnings. We study factors contributing to the gender earnings ratio as well as the median earnings of men and women for 271 U.S. metropolitan areas. The results indicate that occupational segregation is still the leading determinant of gender earnings inequality, that its effects are only slightly diminished by the presence of globalization, and that various aspects of the global economy independently influence the gender earnings gap.

Keywords: class/stratification, comparative/historical, sexuality

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

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