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

The role of employment experience in explaining the gender wage gap

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michal Myck

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and DIW-Berlin)

  • Gillian Paull

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

The wage gap between male and female workers has narrowed in both the US and the UK over the past twenty five years. At the same time, employment rates for men and women have converged. This paper examines the relationship between these two facts by analysing the role played by labour market experience in explaining the narrowing gender wage gap. We analyse the relationships between male and female levels of experience and relative wages in the US and the UK over the period 1978 to 2000. The estimation procedure is based on pseudo panels created from cross-sectional data (Current Population Survey (CPS) for the US and Family Expenditure Survey (FES) for the UK). Possible biases from unobserved heterogeneity and the endogeneity of experience are addressed by using an ‘imputed’ measure of experience based on grouped data and by estimating the wage regressions in first differences. Differences in levels of experience are found to explain 39 percent of the gender wage gap in the US and 37 percent in the UK, and failure to control for unobserved heterogeneity is found to understate the role played by total experience in explaining the gap. The gender wage gap has diminished over recent successive cohorts of workers. However, the evidence suggests that the improvements in relative female wages can’t be attributed to changes in relative levels of experience. For each of the successive cohorts we examine, total experience increases the gender wage ratio by a constant 8 to 9 percentage points in the US and the UK. We find that the average experience for female workers relative to male workers has increased over successive cohorts. However, this has either been insufficient to lead to a noticeable effect on relative wages, or changes in the returns to experience have altered affecting female relative earnings unfavourably.

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.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0416.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W04/16.

as in new window
Length: 42 pp.
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:04/16

Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Email:
Web page: http://www.ifs.org.uk
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE
Email:

Related research

Keywords: gender wage gap; returns to experience; artificial panel data;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

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. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  3. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
  4. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 1999. "Wages, experience and seniority," IFS Working Papers W99/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Blau, Francine D & Ferber, Marianne A, 1987. "Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 316-20, May.
  6. Joni Hersch & Leslie S. Stratton, 1997. "Housework, Fixed Effects, and Wages of Married Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 285-307.
  7. Claudia Goldin, 1983. "Life-Cycle Labor Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 1251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Borooah, V K & Lee, K C, 1988. "The Effect of Changes in Britain's Industrial Structure on Female Relative Pay and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 818-32, September.
  9. Joseph Altonji & R. Shakotko, 1985. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Working Papers 567, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Polachek, Solomon W. & Kim, Moon-Kak, 1994. "Panel estimates of the gender earnings gap : Individual-specific intercept and individual-specific slope models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 23-42, March.
  11. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  12. Goldin, Claudia & Polachek, Solomon, 1987. "Residual Differences by Sex: Perspectives on the Gender Gap in Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 143-51, May.
  13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. David Neumark & Sanders Korenman, 1994. "Sources of Bias in Women's Wage Equations: Results Using Sibling Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 379-405.
  15. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  16. Greenhalgh, Christine A, 1980. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Great Britain: Is Marriage an Equal Opportunity?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 751-75, December.
  17. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-97, June.
  18. Bowlus, Audra J, 1997. "A Search Interpretation of Male-Female Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 625-57, October.
  19. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-71, July.
  20. Alan Manning, 1998. "Movin on up: interpreting the earnings experience profile," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20294, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  21. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 1999. "Analyzing the gender pay gap," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 625-646.
  22. Miller, Paul W, 1987. "The Wage Effect of the Occupational Segregation of Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 885-96, December.
  23. Ermisch, John F & Wright, Robert E, 1988. "Gender Discrimination in the British Labour Market: A Reassessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Joanna Swaffield, 2000. "Gender, Motivation, Experience and Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0457, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  25. Richard Blundell & Howard Reed & Thomas Stoker, 1999. "Interpreting aggregate wage growth," IFS Working Papers W99/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  26. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-43, May.
  27. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  28. Charles Brown & Mary Corcoran, 1996. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 5580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
  30. Williams, Nicolas, 1991. "Reexamining the Wage, Tenure and Experience Relationship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 512-17, August.
  31. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages S29-62, Suppl..
  32. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  33. Helen Robinson, 2003. "Are you experienced? British evidence on age-earnings profiles," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(9), pages 1101-1115.
  34. Susan Harkness, 1996. "The gender earnings gap: evidence from the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 1-36, May.
  35. Bronars, Stephen G & Famulari, Melissa, 1997. "Wage, Tenure, and Wage Growth Variation within and across Establishment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 285-317, April.
  36. Waldfogel, Jane, 1995. "The Price of Motherhood: Family Status and Women's Pay in a Young British Cohort," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 584-610, October.
  37. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1999. "GMM estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," IFS Working Papers W99/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  38. Weiss, Yoram & Gronau, Reuben, 1981. "Expected Interruptions in Labour Force Participation and Sex-Related Differences in Earnings Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 607-19, October.
  39. Black, B & Trainor, M & Spencer, J E, 1999. "Wage Protection Systems, Segregation and Gender Pay Inequalities: West Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 449-64, July.
  40. Polachek, Solomon William, 1975. "Differences in Expected Post-school Investments as a Determinant of Market Wage Differentials," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 451-70, June.
  41. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  42. O'Neill, June, 1985. "The Trend in the Male-Female Wage Gap in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S91-116, January.
  43. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
  44. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael, 1989. "Women in the Labor Market and in the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 9-23, Winter.
  45. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The gender pay gap and children
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2006-12-01 11:27:54
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Grzegorz Kula & Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska, 2011. "Institutional uncertainty and retirement decisions in Poland," Working Papers 2011-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  2. Callan, Tim & Van de Ven, Justin, 2011. "A Framework for Pension Policy Analysis in Ireland: PENMOD, a Dynamic Simulation Model," Papers WP400, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. World Bank, 2007. "Chile - County Gender Assessment : Expanding Women's Work Choices to Enhance Chile's Economic Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7639, The World Bank.
  4. Angel de la Fuente, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 576.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Christophe Nordman & François Roubaud, 2005. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap: Does Labour Force Attachment Really Matter? Evidence from Matched Labour Force and Biographical Surveys in Madagascar," Working Papers 16, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  6. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2005. "The Gender Gap in Early Career Wage Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0700, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2008-03 is not listed on IDEAS

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:ifs:ifsewp:04/16. 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: (Stephanie Seavers).

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.