Returns to skill, compensating differentials, and gender bias: effects of occupational characteristics on the wages of white women and men

B. S. Kilbourne, Paula England, G. Farkas, K. Beron, D. Weir

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    A regression model with fixed-effects and national individual-level panel data (1966-81) is used to decompose the sex gap in pay. Net positive returns to individuals' education and experience and to occupations' cognitive and physical skills are found. While sex differences in experience have large effects on the sex gap skill contributes little to the gap. Negative returns to being in an occupation with a higher percentage of females or requiring more nurturant social skill are found. These forms of gendered valuation contribute significantly to the sex gap in pay. The analysis did not find consistently positive effects for onerous physical conditions, nor did these have much effect on the gap. -Authors

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)689-719
    Number of pages31
    JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1994


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

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