Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Gender Wage Gap and Occupational Injury Risk

Given the huge gender gap for occupational deaths (see chart above, BLS data here), it's a little surprising that this gap has not received more attention as a contributing factor to the gender wage gap (see bold text below, emphasis added). If anyone is aware of research in this area, please let me know. Here is the abstract from one such study "Gender Wage Differentials and the Occupational Injury Risk: Evidence from Germany and the U.S.":

Numerous studies, in particular for the U.S., have shown that individuals in occupations with high injury risk are compensated for that risk by corresponding bonus payments. At the same time, male workers are overrepresented in the most dangerous occupations like scaffolders or miners, while females typically work in relatively safe occupations with respect to occupational injuries. It is therefore remarkable that almost all studies analyzing the gender wage gap have disregarded different occupational injury risks as a potential explanatory variable for observed gender wage differentials.

By merging data on occupational injury risks to German and US panel data on individual workers, this study analyzes gender wage differentials in Germany and the US considering fatal occupational injury risk. The Blinder-Oaxaca method for Tobit models is used to decompose the gender wage gap with and without consideration of the fatal injury risk. Our results indicate that the compensating wage differentials for risky jobs are reflected in the resulting gender wage gap, which is caused by the unequal distribution of occupational injury risks among men and women.


At 9/10/2009 8:31 AM, Blogger Jody Wilson said...

Well, well, well. This is the kind of data that the Institute for Women's Policy Research would prefer to keep under wraps.

At 9/10/2009 10:04 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

I'm reminded of the Dilbert cartoon where the company was falling short of their annual injury goal, so they had to go out an injure three more workers.

Looks like we'll need to start killing more women at work, so we can have equality. Any volunteers?

At 9/10/2009 10:51 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

Joni Hersch has written a fair amount on gender (as well as race and immigrant status) and compensating differentials. For starters, see:
“Sex Discrimination in the Labor Market,” Foundations and Trends in Microeconomics 2(4), December 2006.

you can findher pubs here:


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