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Prejudice and gender differentials in the US labor market in the last twenty years

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  • Flabbi, Luca

Abstract

Earnings differentials between men and women have experienced a stable convergence during the 1980s, following a process started in the late 1970s. However, in the 1990s the convergence has almost stopped. The first objective of the paper is to evaluate if discrimination, defined as explicit prejudice, may have a role in explaining this slowdown in the convergence. The second objective is to assess whether the prediction of a decrease in the proportion of prejudiced employers implied by the Becker's model of taste discrimination is taking place and if so at what speed. These objectives are achieved by developing and estimating a search model of the labor market with matching, bargaining, employer's prejudice and worker's participation decisions. The results show that the proportion of prejudiced employers is estimated to be decreasing at an increasing speed, going from about 69% in 1985 to about 32% in 2005. Therefore prejudice is not estimated to be a relevant factor in explaining the slower convergence between male and female earnings in the 1990s. The results are consistent with the Becker's model of taste discrimination if one is willing to assume a very slow adjustment process.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 156 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 190-200

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:156:y:2010:i:1:p:190-200

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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Keywords: Gender discrimination Search models Maximum likelihood estimation Structural estimation;

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References

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  1. Audra J. Bowlus & Zvi Eckstein, 1998. "Discrimination and Skill Differences in an Equilibrium Search Model," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9802, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. Bowlus, A.J., 1995. "A Search Interpretation of Male-Female Wage Differentials," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9504, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Francine Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The US Gender Pay Gap in the 1990s: Slowing Convergence," Working Papers 887, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Luca Flabbi, 2004. "Gender Discrimination Estimation in a Search Model with Matching and Bargaining," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-08, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226041162, June.
  6. Flinn, C. & Heckman, J., 1982. "New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 115-168, January.
  7. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  8. Eckstein, Z. & Wolpin, K.I., 1992. "Duration to First Job and the Return to Schooling : Estimates form a Search -Matching Model," Papers 13-92, Tel Aviv.
  9. Flinn, Christopher, 2003. "Minimum Wage Effects on Labor Market Outcomes under Search with Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Zvi Eckstein & Éva Nagypál, 2004. "The evolution of U.S. earnings inequality: 1961?2002," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 10-29.
  11. Thomas Lemieux & Nicole M. Fortin, 2000. "Are Women's Wage Gains Men's Losses? A Distributional Test," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 456-460, May.
  12. Flinn, C. J., 2000. "Interpreting Minimum Wage Effects on Wage Distributions: A Cautionary Tale," Working Papers 00-08, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Sulis, 2008. "Gender Wage Differentials in Italy: A Structural Estimation Approach," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 74, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  2. Leonardo Felli & Leeat Yariv & Allan Collard-Wexler & Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2010. "Gender and Racial Biases: Evidence from Child Adoption," 2010 Meeting Papers 273, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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