The gender wage gap – due to differences in efficiency wage effects or discrimination?
AbstractWomen often receive lower wages than men for comparable work. Many explanations are offered for this fact, ranging from women’s lower negotiation skills to discrimination by employers. In this paper, an experiment, which was originally conceptualized to test efficiency-wage theory, has been applied to test whether women get paid less than men in an experimental market, and if this is the case, why. The experiment is a variant of Fehr & Falk’s (1999) double auction with effort. Results are striking: Female workers receive significantly lower wages than male workers, no matter whether men or women are in the role of the firm. However, this does not pay for the firms, as women’s reactions to low wages are equal to those of men: low effort. More specifically, a high discrepancy between the wage asked by a worker and the wage offered by the firm leads to low effort. Extrapolating from the experiment to the “real” labor market, the results are pointing towards a vicious cycle: Women are offered lower wages than they expect, and consequentially they exhibit low effort levels. Therefore, employers who do not realize that women – just like men – reciprocate might regard their productivity as lower.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht : METEOR, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization in its series Research Memoranda with number 046.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/UMPublications.htm
labour economics ;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-09-08 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000.
"Gender Differences in Pay,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1980. "Sex Differences in Worker Quitting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 388-98, August.
- Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "Panel Estimates of Male and Female Job Turnover Behavior: Can Female Nonquitters Be Identified?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 156-81, April.
- Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1994. "Rising Wage Inequality and the U.S. Gender Gap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 23-28, May.
- Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1996.
"Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions and the Gender Gap,"
Cahiers de recherche
9607, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1998. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions, and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 610-643.
- Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1996. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions and the Gender Gap," Cahiers de recherche 9607, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
- T.D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 1998. "Gender Wage Discrimination Bias? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 947-973.
- Christoph Meng, 2002. "(Fe)male jobs and (fe)male wages: disentangling the effect of personal and job characteristics on wages by measuring stereotypes," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 45(2), pages 143-167.
- Alan Krueger & Stephen Wu, 1998. "Forecasting Successful Economics Graduate Students," Working Papers 403.pdf, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Deborah Anderson & David Shapiro, 1996. "Racial differences in access to high-paying jobs and the wage gap between black and white women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(2), pages 273-286, January.
- Walters, Amy E. & Stuhlmacher, Alice F. & Meyer, Lia L., 1998. "Gender and Negotiator Competitiveness: A Meta-analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-29, October.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999.
"Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
- Haagsma, Rein, 1993. "Is statistical discrimination socially efficient?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-50, January.
- Francine D. Blau, 1990.
"Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation,"
NBER Working Papers
3445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francine D. Blau & Marianne A. Ferber, 1991. "Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 581-607.
- Lawrence F. Katz, 1986.
"Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation,"
in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- R. Lynn Hannan & John H. Kagel & Donald V. Moser, 2002. "Partial Gift Exchange in an Experimental Labor Market: Impact of Subject Population Differences, Productivity Differences, and Effort Requests on Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 923-951, October.
- Christiane Schwieren & Matthias Sutter, 2007.
"Trust in cooperation or ability? An experimental study on gender differences,"
2007-20, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
- Schwieren, Christiane & Sutter, Matthias, 2008. "Trust in cooperation or ability? An experimental study on gender differences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 494-497, June.
- Christiane Schwieren & Matthias Sutter, 2003. "Trust in cooperation or ability? – An experimental study on gender differences," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Yolanda Pena-Boquete & Melchor Fernandez, 2011. "Could gender wage discrimination explain regional differences in productivity?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1272, European Regional Science Association.
- Melchor Fernandez & Yolanda Pena-Boquete, 2011. "Macroeconomic consequences of gender discrimination: a preliminary approach (refereed paper)," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1066, European Regional Science Association.
- Schwieren, Christiane, 2012. "The gender wage gap in experimental labor markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 592-595.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Charles Bollen).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.