Occupational Feminization and Pay: The Case of Brazil


  • Diego Camargo Botassio Ministry of Economy
  • Daniela Verzola Vaz Federal University of São Paulo




Gender inequality, Occupations, Earnings, Longitudinal analysis


The sex wage gap is widely documented in the literature. Although several theories emerged to explain it, the devaluation and queuing views have been dominant due to women’s concentration in lower-paying occupations. They differ in the direction of the
causal effect: while the devaluation theory predicts lower wages for higher occupation’s female share, the queuing theory predicts causal effect in the opposite direction. No studies to support these theories have been found for developing countries and this paper aims to test them for Brazil. Using Censuses data, three results emerge: 1) negative correlation between sex composition and wages; 2) no evidence to support neither theory; 3) some evidence to support another view: the theory of equalizing differences. This last theory predicts no causal relationship between the occupational share of females and wages because wage differentials would emerge from human capital differences and the value attributed to jobs’ non-monetary advantages.