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Working paper 694

Gordon John Anderson, "Is there a Grand Gender Convergence in Canada? – The Jury is Still Out.", 2021-04-24
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Abstract: The increasing similarity of male and female roles in the labour market over the last 50 years has been dubbed "The Grand Gender Convergence", though there is concern that the process has stalled. In the absence of gender discrimination and assuming similar preferences for work and human resource acquisition across the gender divide, females and males with similar human resource characteristics should have similar income distributions in equilibrium, in effect there would be equality of opportunity across the gender divide. If that equilibrium is stable, convergence to the equilibrium state should see increasingly similar gender based income distributions accompanied by increasingly similar gender based human resource distributions. Viewed through the lens of an equal opportunity imperative, income convergence is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for a "Grand Gender Convergence" since similarities in income distributions could be achieved with gender based differences in human resources and efforts given a discriminatory rewards structure. Here, using new tools for empirically examining distributional convergence processes, the existence of a "Grand Gender Convergence" in 21st century Canada is examined in the context of such an Equal Opportunity paradigm. While income convergence is almost universally apparent, the same is not true for human resource stocks which appear to be diverging, raising questions about the existence of a Canadian Grand Gender convergence.

Keywords: Gender, Convergence, Distributional Differences, Human Resources.

JEL Classification: J3, J16, J22, J24, J31, J33, N3