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Comparable Worth in Academia: The Effects on Faculty Salaries of the Sex Composition and Labor-Market Conditions of Academic Disciplines

Marcia L. Bellas
American Sociological Review
Vol. 59, No. 6 (Dec., 1994), pp. 807-821
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096369
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Comparable Worth in Academia: The Effects on Faculty Salaries of the Sex Composition and Labor-Market Conditions of Academic Disciplines
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Abstract

Scholars of comparable worth have identified a negative bias against work typically performed by women, suggesting that the cultural devaluation of women leads to the devaluation of the work women do. Previous studies have demonstrated that both male and female incumbents of jobs employing high proportions of female workers suffer a wage penalty, earning less than those in comparable jobs with high proportions of male workers. I examine whether similar mechanisms operate in academia, asking whether higher proportions of women in academic disciplines depress faculty salaries in those disciplines, independent of the effects of labor-market conditions and conventional salary predictors. Findings from a contextual model show that faculty in disciplines employing high proportions of women suffer a wage penalty unexplained by differences in a number of disciplinary labor-market conditions or by variations in individual qualifications or job characteristics.

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