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Can job evaluation improve women's wages?

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Systematic job evaluation or comparable worth programmes are often seen as a method to increase the relative wages of women. This paper examines whether this is the case using two job evaluation studies from the university sector in Sweden. Two different evaluation schemes were used in these studies. The general result found in this analysis is that complete implementation of the evaluation results would lead to an increase in women's relative wages by between 2 and 6%. This finding is, however, not uniform in the sense that all women would gain and all men would lose. Results indicate that about two-thirds of women are 'winners' and one-third 'losers', while the figures for men are approximately the reverse. Assuming that the job evaluations give a correct measure of productivity, the results are also used in an analysis of wage discrimination and the crowding effect. The findings indicate a significant crowding effect, but are less conclusive with regard to discrimination.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1999

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