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Sex Segregation and Occupational Gender Inequality in the United States: Devaluation or Specialized Training?

Tony Tam
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 102, No. 6 (May 1997), pp. 1652-1692
DOI: 10.1086/231129
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/231129
Page Count: 41
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Sex Segregation and Occupational Gender Inequality in the United States: Devaluation or Specialized Training?
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Abstract

This article examines two hypotheses of the wage effects of occupational sex composition in the United States: the devaluation and the specialized human capital hypothesis. With data from an expanded version of the May 1988 Current Population Survey, this study finds that differences in the length of specialized training across occupations and industries, together with a few demographic and human capital attributes, are able to completely explain all of the sex composition effects among women and men, whites and blacks. The central results are difficult to reconcile with the devaluation hypothesis but are remarkably consistent with the specialized human capital hypothesis.

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