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A Quantitative Theory of the Gender Gap in Wages

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  • Andrés Erosa
  • Luisa Fuster
  • Diego Restuccia

Abstract

Using panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we document that gender differences in wages almost double during the first 20 years of labor market experience and that there are substantial gender differences in employment and hours of work during the life cycle. A large portion of gender differences in labor market attachment can be traced to the impact of children on the labor supply of women. We develop a quantitative life-cycle model of fertility, labor supply, and human capital accumulation decisions. We use this model to assess the role of fertility on gender differences in labor supply and wages over the life cycle. In our model, fertility lowers the lifetime intensity of market activity, reducing the incentives for human capital accumulation and wage growth over the life cycle of females relative to males. We calibrate the model to panel data of men and to fertility and child related labor market histories of women. We find that fertility accounts for most of the gender differences in labor supply and wages during the life cycle documented in the NLSY data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-199.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 11 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-199

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Keywords: Gender wage gap; employment; experience; fertility; human capital;

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References

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  1. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
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  4. Andres Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2009. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Parental Leave Policies," Working Papers tecipa-385, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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  14. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2002. "Fertility Decisions and Gender Differences in Labor Turnover, Employment, and Wages," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 856-891, October.
  15. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  16. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  17. Deborah J. Anderson & Melissa Binder & Kate Krause, 2002. "The Motherhood Wage Penalty: Which Mothers Pay It and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 354-358, May.
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  20. José María Da Rocha & Luisa Fuster, 2006. "Why Are Fertility Rates And Female Employment Ratios Positively Correlated Across O.E.C.D. Countries?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1187-1222, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," CEPR Discussion Papers 6391, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Andres Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Parental Leave Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 742-758, October.
  3. Limor Golan & George-Levi Gayle, 2008. "Estimating a Dynamic Adverse-Selection Model: Labor-Force Experience and the Changing Gender Earnings Gap 1968-93," 2008 Meeting Papers 301, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. BAUDIN, Thomas & DE LA CROIX, David & GOBBI, Paula, 2012. "DINKs, DEWKs & Co. Marriage, fertility and childlessness in the United States," CORE Discussion Papers 2012051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Sara Rica & Juan Dolado & Cecilia Garcia Peñalosa, 2012. "GINI DP 24: On gender gaps and self-fulfilling expectations: An alternative approach based on paid-for-training," GINI Discussion Papers 24, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  6. Fernando Borraz & Cecilia Robano, 2010. "Brecha Salarial en Uruguay," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 25(1), pages 49-77, June.
  7. Rainald Borck, 2011. "Adieu Rabenmutter - The Effect of Culture on Fertility, Female Labour Supply, the Gender Wage Gap and Childcare," CESifo Working Paper Series 3337, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Cavalcanti, Tiago & Tavares, José, 2007. "The Output Cost of Gender Discrimination: A Model-Based Macroeconomic Estimate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Christian Siegel, 2012. "Female Employment and Fertility - The Effects of Rising Female Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp1156, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Alexander Ueberfeldt, 2009. "Who's afraid of population aging?," 2009 Meeting Papers 778, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Julie L. Hotchkiss & John C. Robertson, 2006. "Asymmetric labor force participation decisions over the business cycle: evidence from U.S. microdata," Working Paper 2006-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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