Sex differences in rates of return from human capital to earnings for married full-time workers in the Canadian labour force : a case of women's work history?


Adsett, Margaret D., 1953-




This thesis investigates the argument that the work history of married women can explain inequality in rates of return from human capital (years of experience and schooling) to earnings between married men and women in the full-time Canadian labour force. In support of this argument this thesis finds the following: (1)
work history has a marginally significant effect on the amount of inequality in rates of return between married women 30 to ^4 years of age and married males, (2) married women 30 to 44 years of age who have conceivably never been out of the labour force for homemaking-childrearing purposes obtain the same rate of return as married males, (3) married women 25 to 29 years  of age have work histories similar to those of married males and they obtain the same rate of return as married males, and (4) results vary in the anticipated direction by work history when married women 45 to 64 and 25 to 64 years of age are those of concern.
While this thesis lends some support to the above mentioned argument, the interpretation of the results of this study and those of past studies is dependent on the assumption that work history is the cause and attenuated rates of return is the effect. This assumption might well prove to be untenable. Past discrimination could be responsible for women's discontinuous work history. Longitudinal data on women's earnings in addition to longitudinal data on women's work history is needed. This thesis concludes that women's time out of the labour market for the purposes of homemaking-childrearing appears to generate inequality in rates of return between married men and women, particularily if.the problem is viewed from a life cycle perspective. However, the intercept differences that this study consistently finds in the equations which best describe malefemale differences in earnings attainment, regardless of work history, suggest that sexual inequality in rates of return is only a small aspect of the general problem of sexual inequality of earnings.


Women -- Employment -- Canada
Wages -- Women -- Canada
Sex Discrimination In Employment -- Canada




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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