Advances in Management and Applied Economics

Does the Public Sector Discriminate Against Women? Occupational Segregation Prior to Privatization in Egypt

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  • Abstract

    This paper utilizes a joint (ordered probit) occupational attainment and wage determination model to examine the channels through which occupational segregation and pay discrimination affect the overall gender wage gap in different sectors of ownership in Egypt. Using a large data set drawn from a survey of Egyptian establishments in the organized sector, the model estimates confirm that gender-based pay discrimination is small in the government sector in Egypt and quite high by international comparisons in the private sector. Yet, even prior to the large-scale privatization in 1990s, occupational segregation was quite prevalent in state owned enterprises, amounting to half of the discrimination component. These findings highlight that any expected disproportionate impact of economic liberalization on women is more likely to come from civil service reform as opposed to privatisation of public enterprises in Egypt.