Gender Segregation Small Firms

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Kenneth R Troske ; William J Carrington (1992)
  • Subject: CES,economic,research,micro,data,microdata,chief,economist

This paper studies interfirm gender segregation in a unique sample of small employers. We focus on small firms because previous research on interfirm segregation has studied only large firms and because it is easier to link the demographic characteristics of employers and employees in small firms. This latter feature permits an assessment of the role of employer discrimination in creating gender segregation. Our first finding is that interfirm segregation is prevalent among small employers. Indeed men and women rarely work in fully integrated firms. Our second finding is that the education and gender of the business owner strongly influence the gender composition of a firm's workforce. This suggests that employer discrimination may be an important cause of workplace gender segregation. Finally, we estimate that interfirm segregation can account for up to 50% of the gender gap in annual earnings.
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