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The Rising (and then Declining) Significance of Gender

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  • Claudia Goldin

Abstract

In the past two decades gender pay differences have narrowed considerably and a declining significance of gender has pervaded the labor market in numerous ways. This paper contends that in the first several decades of the twentieth century there was a rising significance of gender. The emergence of gender distinctions accompanied several important changes in the economy including the rise of white-collar work for women and increases in women's educational attainment. Firms adopted policies not to hire women in particular occupations and to exclude men from other occupations. A model of discrimination is developed in which men oppose the hiring of women into certain positions. The assumptions of the model break down when women acquire known and verifiable credentials. The shift from the rising to the declining significance of gender may have involved such a change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8915.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Publication status: published as Blau, F. D. , M. C. Brinton, and D. B. Grusky (eds.) The Declining Significance of Gender? New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2006.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8915

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  1. Goldin, Claudia & Katz, Lawrence, 2000. "Education and Income in the Early 20th Century: Evidence from the Prairies," Scholarly Articles 2624456, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2000. "Education and Income in the Early Twentieth Century: Evidence from the Prairies," Scholarly Articles 2766688, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, October.
  4. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
  5. James J. Heckman & Robert J. Willis, 1975. "A Beta-Logistic Model for the Analysis of Sequential Labor Force Participation by Married Women," NBER Working Papers 0112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Neumark & Sanders D. Korenman, 1988. "Does marriage really make men more productive?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Daniel, K., 1991. "Does Marriage Make Men More Productive?," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center, Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-2, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  8. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  10. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  11. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter & Weinberg,Bruce A., 2005. "People People: Social Capital and the Labor-Market - Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 002, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Marigee Bacolod & V. Joseph Hotz, 2005. "Cohort Changes in the Transition from School to Work: What Changed and What Consequences Did it have for Wages?," Working Papers 050618, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  3. Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2013. "People Skills and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," CPB Discussion Paper 253, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Casey Warman & Frances Woolley & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "The Evolution of Male-Female Wages Differentials in Canadian Universities: 1970-2001," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1099, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Tilahun Temesgen, 2006. "Decomposing Gender Wage Differentials in Urban Ethiopia: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee (LEE) Manufacturing Survey Data," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 43-66.

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