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Occupational segregation in the Malaysian labor market: evidence on the L index

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date08/2011
JournalSingapore Economic Review
Journal number3
Volume56
Number of pages25
Pages397-421
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Empirical research on occupational segregation has conventionally measured it with Duncan dissimilarity index. This paper adopts an alternative approach — the L index — using the multivariate analysis introduced by Spriggs and Williams, which we extend to explore the impact of economic development on occupational segregation. This enables us to investigate the importance of individuals' attributes in explaining the segregation. Using data from the Labor Force Survey between 1985 and 2005, our results indicate that the L index controlling only for sex is substantial and persistent. However, the full model L index generally implies that occupational segregation has widened after controlling for individuals' attributes. It is found that segregation in the Malaysian labor market is mainly explained by gender, which, on average, accounts for 82% of the segregation. When a measure of macroeconomic conditions and a time variable economic are factored into the model that controls for gender only, the L index remains unchanged.