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How the Human Capital Model Explains Why the Gender Wage Gap Narrowed

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  • Polachek, Solomon

    ()
    (Binghamton University, New York)

Abstract

This paper explores secular changes in women’s pay relative to men’s pay. It shows how the human capital model predicts a smaller gender wage gap as male-female lifetime work expectations become more similar. The model explains why relative female wages rose almost unabated from 1890 to the early-1990s in the United States (with the exception of about 1940-1980), and why this relative wage growth tapered off since 1993. In addition to the US, the paper presents evidence from nine other countries using data gleaned from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS).

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1102.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1102.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: F. Blau, M. Brinton, and D. Grusky, (eds.) The Declining Significance of Gender?, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2006
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1102

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Related research

Keywords: human capital; wages; gender; secular trends;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2005. "The Gender Gap in Early Career Wage Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0700, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "A quantitative theory of the gender gap in wages," Working Papers, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales 2010-04, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 20 Oct 2010.
  3. Gabrielle Wanzenried, 2008. "How feminine is corporate America? A recent overview," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 185-209, June.
  4. Satvika Chalasani, 2007. "The changing relationship between parents’ education and their time with children," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 4(1), pages 93-117, September.
  5. Solomon W. Polachek & Jun Xiang, 2009. "The Gender Pay Gap across Countries: A Human Capital Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 227, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Emilia Del Bono & Daniela Vuri, 2008. "Job Mobility and the Gender Wage Gap in Italy," CEIS Research Paper 130, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 06 Nov 2008.
  7. Patricia Eilsberger & Markus Zwick, 2011. "Geschlechterspezifische Einkommensunterschiede bei Selbständigen als Freiberufler und Gewerbetreibende im Vergleich zu abhängig Beschäftigten – Ein empirischer Vergleich auf der Grundlage steuers," FFB-Discussionpaper, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg 93, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  8. Jens Bonke & Frederik Gerstoft, 2007. "Stress, time use and gender," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 4(1), pages 47-68, September.
  9. Monika Hjeds Löfmark, 2007. "Gender and time allocation differences in Taganrog, Russia," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 4(1), pages 69-92, September.
  10. Oriel Sullivan, 2007. "Cultural voraciousness - A new measure of the pace of leisure in a context of 'harriedness'," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 4(1), pages 30-46, September.
  11. Hannu Piekkola & Liisa Leijola, 2007. "Time use and options for retirement in Europe," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, September.

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