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March 1984, Vol. 107, No. 3
and change in distribution by gender
It is well known that women are concentrated in different occupations than men. Because this concentration plays a crucial role in accounting for male-female earnings differentials, it is important to know the degree to which women have been moving into jobs that have traditionally been held by men.1
The decennial censuses provide very detailed occupational data and serve as the most important benchmarks for assessing long-term changes in the distribution of the sexes by occupation. The Current Population Survey (CPS), conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Bureau of the Census, also uses the Census occupational classification system which was developed to facilitate comparability in occupational data produced by the Federal Government agencies. The CPS is particularly useful for providing information on year-to-year changes in occupational employment in the years between decennial censuses.2
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1 Mary Corcoran, Greg J. Duncan, and Michael Ponza, "Work Experience, Job Segregation and Wages," revised version of paper prepared for the National Academy of Science Conference on Job Segregation by Sex, May 1982; Paula England, "The Failure of Human Capital Theory to Explain Occupational Sex Segregation," Journal of Human Resources, Summer 1982, pp. 371-91; Nancy F. Rytina, "Occupational Segregation and earnings differences by sex," Monthly Labor Review, January 1981, pp. 49-53; Steven D. McLaughlin, "Occupational Sex Identification and the Assessment of Male and Female Earnings Inequality," American Sociological Review, December 1978, pp. 909-21; and Donald J. Treiman and Heidi I. Hartmann, eds., Women, Work, and Wages: Equal Pay for Jobs of Equal Value (Washington, National Academy Press, 1981).
2 For detailed occupational data available in published tabulations of annual averages from the Current Population Survey (CPS) 1972-82, see Labor Force Statistics Derived from the Current Population Survey: A Databook, Volume 1 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1982), table B-20; and Employment and Earnings, January 1983, table 23. For an analysis of 1972-80 change in occupations based on CPS data see Carol Boyd Leon, "Occupational winners and losers; who they were during 1972-80," Monthly Labor Review, June 1982, pp. 18-28.
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