Sex discrimination and non-random sampling in the Australian labour market

Kidd, Michael P. & Viney, Rosalie (1991) Sex discrimination and non-random sampling in the Australian labour market. Australian Economic Papers, 30(56), pp. 28-49.

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Historically a significant gap between male and female wages has existed in the Australian labour market. Indeed this wage differential was institutionalised in the 1912 arbitration decision which determined that the basic female wage would be set at between 54 and 66 per cent of the male wage. More recently however, the 1969 and 1972 Equal Pay Cases determined that male/female wage relativities should be based upon the premise of equal pay for work of equal value. It is important to note that the mere observation that average wages differ between males and females is not sine qua non evidence of sex discrimination. Economists restrict the definition of wage discrimination to cases where two distinct groups receive different average remuneration for reasons unrelated to differences in productivity characteristics. This paper extends previous studies of wage discrimination in Australia (Chapman and Mulvey, 1986; Haig, 1982) by correcting the estimated male/female wage differential for the existence of non-random sampling. Previous Australian estimates of male/female human capital basedwage specifications together with estimates of the corresponding wage differential all suffer from a failure to address this issue. If the sample of females observed to be working does not represent a random sample then the estimates of the male/female wage differential will be both biased and inconsistent.

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ID Code: 59219
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8454.1991.tb00529.x
ISSN: 0004-900X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1991 Blackwell Publishing
Deposited On: 22 Apr 2013 00:30
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2013 00:31

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