An investigation of variables affecting male/female wage differentials in the retail food industry in Winnipeg

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Rollo, Christine Morag.
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Male-female wage differentials occur in all industries and occupations. This is despite the assurance of purely competitive wage theory that tells us they should only exist momentarily, as a transitory phase before long run equilibrium takes place. Therefore, for their continuing occurrence over time, anomolies in market structure or industrial conduct must be present which aid in the development and prolong the persistence of these differentials. This thesis is an intensive look at one industry, the retail food industry in Winnipeg, in an attempt to account for the determinants of male-female differentials within the industry. Wage rates are influenced by a multi-faceted array of factors. These range from supply and demand imbalances, labour productivity, market structure forces, to the institutional considerations of historical wage relationships and the impact of unionization. Chapter two of the thesis is an investigation into the impact of these variables on wage rates to determine their relative importance and to isolate those that will be used in the analysis of wage differentials of this study. The third chapter of the thesis investigates the theoretical foundations of sex discrimination since male-female wage differentials are often the result of discrimination... ... Chapter four of this thesis is an industry study of the retail food industry, examining the structure, conduct and performance of each sector to isolate factors that will have an impact on the wage rate and on male-female wage differentials. Chaper five of the thesis analyses cross sectional wage data from the industry, testing the relative strengths of the pertinent variable in explaining the wage structure and also examining the occurence and magnitude of male-female wage differentials within the industry.