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Understanding the gender gap among turn-of-the-century Swedish compositors

Joyce Burnette and Stanfors Stanfors ()
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Joyce Burnette: Wabash College, Postal: Wabash College, CRAWFORDSVILLE, INDIANA, 301 W. Wabash Avenue, Crawfordsville, IN 47933,
Stanfors Stanfors: Lund University, Postal: Lund University,Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen, Ekonomihögskolan vid Lunds universitet, Box 7083, 220 07 LUND,

No 2018:1, Working Paper Series from IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

Abstract: Women have always earned less than men, with men’s greater physical strength explaining a large portion of the difference. This raises the question of why the gender gap did not disappear when the importance of physical strength waned with the emergence of the modern labor market. This paper explores the wage gap among Swedish compositors, an occupation featuring the main traits of modernity, circa 1900. We exploit matched employer-employee data with national coverage,and examine information on men and women holding the same jobs. On average, women’s hourly wage was about 70 percent of men’s. Individual characteristics explain much, but not all, of this gender gap. To explain the remainder of the gap, we examine training and differences across firms. Our findings suggest that women received less training than men, and accounting for differences across firms explains the gender gap. We also find differences across firms by size and location. Smaller firms outside the major cities treated men and women fairly, but large firms in big cities did not offer women the same opportunities as men, creating a gender wage gap. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that firms which set up internal labor markets treated men and women differently.

Keywords: earnings; manufacturing industry; firm-level data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2018-03-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-his and nep-lab
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