Menu Close

Individuals, Jobs, and Labor Markets: The Devaluation of Women’s Work


Cohen, Philip N. & Huffman, Matt L. (2003). Individuals, Jobs, and Labor Markets: The Devaluation of Women's Work. American Sociological Review, 68(3), 443-463.


Although abundant evidence documents pay penalties for female-dominated jobs, there is also substantial variation in gender inequality across U.S. metropolitan areas. These lines of research are united by exploring whether occupational gender segregation at the labor market level exacerbates the wage penalty associated with female-dominated jobs, and investigating the association between gender composition and the size of within-job gender gaps. Results show that the penalty accruing to female-dominated jobs is weaker in more integrated labor markets, but only among men, and that labor market integration does not significantly influence the association between the gender composition of jobs and within-job inequality. Further, even women in completely segregated jobs benefit from a context of occupational integration. It is concluded that, although gender devaluation is widespread and systematic, variation in gender composition effects across local contexts is an important dimension of gender inequality.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Sociological Review


Cohen, Philip N.
Huffman, Matt L.