Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Importing equality? The effects of increased competition on the gender wage gap

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sandra E. Black
  • Elizabeth Brainerd

Abstract

It is now well documented that the gender wage gap declined substantially in the 1980s, despite rising overall wage inequality. While Blau and Kahn (JoLE 1997) attribute much of this improvement to gains in women's relative labor market experience and other observable characteristics, a substantial part of the decline in the gender wage gap remains unexplained, and may be due to reduced discrimination against women in the labor market. This paper tests the hypothesis (based on Becker 1957) that increased globalization in the 1980s forced employers to reduce costly discrimination against women and thus accounted for part of the "unexplained" improvement in the gender pay gap. ; To test this hypothesis, we calculate the change in the residual gender wage gap across industries (as well as cities) over time using CPS data from 1977 - 1994, and test the correlation between this measure and changes in import shares. The wage data are further broken down by the type of market structure in an industry, i.e. whether the industry is concentrated or competitive. Since concentrated industries face little competitive pressure to reduce discrimination, an increase in competition from increased trade should lead to a reduction in the residual gender wage gap. We use a difference-in-differences approach to compare the change in the residual gender wage gap in concentrated versus unconcentrated sectors, using the latter as a control for changes in the gender wage gap that are unrelated to competitive pressures. The findings indicate that increased competition through trade did contribute to the narrowing of the gender wage gap, suggesting that, at least in this sense, trade may benefit women relative to men.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr74.html
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr74.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 74.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:74

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045-0001
Email:
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Email:
Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/

Related research

Keywords: Competition ; Wages ; Discrimination in employment;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1998. "Market Forces and Sex Discrimination," Labor and Demography 9807002, EconWPA.
  2. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
  3. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Borjas, George J & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Foreign Competition, Market Power, and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1075-1110, November.
  5. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1998. "Employment versus wage adjustment and the U.S. dollar," Staff Reports 56, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, October.
  7. Goldberg, Matthew S, 1982. "Discrimination, Nepotism, and Long-Run Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 307-19, May.
  8. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  9. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
  10. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  11. James Levinsohn, 1991. "Testing the Imports-as-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 3657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Noel Gaston & Daniel Trefler, 1994. "Protection, trade, and wages: Evidence from U.S. manufacturing," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 574-593, July.
  13. David A. Jaeger & Susanna Loeb & Sarah E. Turner & John Bound, 1998. "Coding Geographic Areas Across Census Years: Creating Consistent Definitions of Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 6772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Douglas L. Kruse, 1988. "International trade and the labor market experience of displaced workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 402-417, April.
  15. Ashenfelter, Orley & Hannan, Timothy, 1986. "Sex Discrimination and Product Market Competition: The Case of the Banking Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 149-73, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:74. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Farber).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.