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Gender Wage Differentials in a Competitive Labor Market: The Household Interaction Effect

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  • Francois, P.
  • Ours, J.C. van

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We present a theoretical explanation of the gender wage gap which turns on the interaction between men and women in households.In equilibria where men are over-represented in full-time work, we show that firms rationally choose to hire women only at strictly lower wages than men.The model developed predicts a gap even controlling for education, occupation and industry of workers and does so in a competitive labor market where there exist no inherent gender differences. We test our theory using CPS data over the period 1979-98 and find it is strongly supported by the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2000-85.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200085

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Related research

Keywords: gender discrimination; household models; wage gap;

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References

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  1. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  2. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Viscusi, W Kip, 1980. "Sex Differences in Worker Quitting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 388-98, August.
  5. Paul R. Milgrom, 1984. "Job Discrimination, Market Forces and the Invisibility Hypothesis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 708R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised 1985.
  6. Patrick Francois, 1996. "A Theory of Gender Discrimination Based on the Household," Working Papers 929, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  8. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  9. Paul Beaudry, 1994. "Entry Wages Signalling the Credibility of Future Wages: A Reinterpretation of the Turnover-Efficiency-Wage Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 884-902, November.
  10. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
  11. Engineer, Merwan & Welling, Linda, 1999. "Human capital, true love, and gender roles: is sex destiny?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 155-178, October.
  12. Elaine Sorensen, 1990. "The Crowding Hypothesis and Comparable Worth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 55-89.
  13. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
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Cited by:
  1. René Böheim & Helmut Hofer & Christine Zulehner, 2007. "Wage differences between Austrian men and women: semper idem?," Empirica, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 213-229, July.
  2. B. Burcin Yurtoglu & Christine Zulehner, 2007. "The gender wage gap in top corporate jobs is still there," Vienna Economics Papers 0701, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  3. Natalia Soboleva, 2014. "Gender Attitudes In The World Of Work: Cross-Cultural Comparison," HSE Working papers WP BRP 46/SOC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  4. Palomino, Frédéric & Peyrache, Eloïc-Anil, 2010. "Psychological bias and gender wage gap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 563-573, December.
  5. Saurina Canals, C. & Saez Zafra, M., 2004. "Estudio empírico en población femenina sobre condiciones de aceptación de empleo a tiempo parcial: Un modelo de decisiones múltiples./Empirical Study of the Conditions for Taking a Part Time Job A," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 22, pages 83-98, Abril.

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