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Job Mobility, Gender Composition, and Wage Growth

To explain the gender wage growth gap, sociologists tend to focus on gender segregation among/within jobs whereas economists put emphasis on individual job mobility. This study adopted a concept combining both segregation and mobility. The concept helps to take the gender segregation before and after job mobility into account to strictly measure the mechanisms of wage growth. For analysis, this study used 6-year personnel data of a firm, which allows researchers to track employees’ job mobility, wages, and job information at the most accurate level. The concept of combining segregation and mobility was operated through the gender composition of jobs and employee job change, which generated ten patterns. Among them, the following six were focused: staying in male or female jobs, movement between male or female jobs, and movement toward male or female jobs. While controlling wages at prior jobs, the multilevel model analysis shows that the wage growth rates in the six mobility patterns were stratified as follows: mobility between male jobs, stay in male jobs, mobility toward male jobs, mobility toward female jobs, mobility between female jobs, and stay in female jobs. This hierarchy system in the organization reveals two features: first, men’s job-related mobility or stay compensated more steeply than women’s job-related mobility or stay. Second, within each gender category of jobs, the mobility provided higher wage growth than stay. In sum, the gender category of jobs proceeded job mobility in terms of wage growth. Interestingly, when paying attention to the higher wage growth of ‘mobility toward female jobs’ than ‘mobility between female jobs’, this implies that the former occurred in movement from lower-level male jobs to higher-level female jobs, particularly higher than female jobs involved in the latter mobility. In view of gender regarding job mobility patterns, women and men typically did not experience differentiated salary growth. The categories of job mobility used in this paper provide a new and integrated insight for scholars who study gender segregation and job mobility, especially in view of an organization.
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