Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Gender Effect on the Perceived Value of Human Capital in Management

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Gender Effect on the Perceived Value of Human Capital in Management

Article excerpt


This study examined earnings inequality in Thailand. There is a relatively higher ratio of men than women in high level management positions in manufacturing. Women are typically employed in lower level positions such as bookkeeping, human resources and secretarial staff. They are the main force in the service sector such as banking, retail trades, education, hospitality and tourism. The trend has shifted in recent years when more women than men enter into a managerial level position. However, earnings for women are relatively lower than that of their male counterparts.

A human capital model was employed to assess factors affecting earnings among men and women at managerial levels. These factors included education, work experience, marital status, job satisfaction, number of hours at work and at home, willingness to engage in frequent business trips and gender. The empirical analysis found that education, work experience, marital status and willingness to engage in frequent business trips had a significant effect on all samples in the study. Education and work experience profoundly affected earnings for both men and women. However, only women's earnings were affected by marital status and willingness to engage in frequent business trips.


Thailand is currently undergoing reforms and adjustments in economic development planning aimed at bolstering market confidence and achieving economic recovery and stability. Amidst the past financial crisis, female employment has played an important role in the Thai economy, especially in the private sector. Table 1 provides selected statistics to compare males and females in the labor force. The Thai labor force is about 57 percent male and 43 percent female. More than twice the number of administrative, managerial and professional workers reside in an urban area. The percentage of women in administrative, managerial and professional positions increased from 49.7 in 1996 to 56.8 percent in 2000. There have been more job opportunities and better career advancement for women in the modern private sector. However, women with college degrees continue to earn less than their male counterparts. Wage and earnings inequality may arise due to heterogeneous jobs and workers. The initial motivation behind this research was to assess the impact of crucial factors affecting earnings at the entry to middle managerial levels in Thailand in order to control for some consequences of heterogeneities. Previous research has shown gender effect on employment and earnings inequality mainly among low educated and unskilled workers. Higher educated women at the managerial level have rarely been investigated.


The US historical trend in the female-male ratio indicated a rapid increase during the 1980s and stood at .72 by 1990 (O'Neill & Polachek, 1993). American women's economic status improved significantly in the 1980s. Understanding the gender gap in pay is important because even in the absence of any labor-market discrimination, it is unlikely that the wage rates of women and men would be equal (O'Neill, 2003). The relative improvement in women's wages can be attributed to an increase in labor market experience and work attachment (Blau & Kahn, 1997; O'Neill & Polachek, 1993). Not only can changes in the structure of the economy affect the wage distribution, but also human capital investments can create income inequality within a particular population.

Earnings dispersion generally occurs due to differences in job characteristics and worker skills. Conversely, earnings inequality may occur among equally skilled workers in the same job because of gender, race and other irrelevant characteristics. It is widely accepted that differences in human capital between men and women do matter (Borjas, 2000). Men tend to acquire more human capital than women. The human capital that women acquire depreciates somewhat during the child bearing years when they engage in household production. …

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