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Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy

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  • L. Rachel Ngai
  • Barbara Petrongolo

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of the rise in services in the narrowing of gender gaps in hours and wages in recent decades. We highlight the between-industry component of differential gender trends for the United States and propose a model economy with goods, services, and home production, in which women have a comparative advantage in producing services. The rise of services, driven by structural transformation and marketization of home production, raises women's relative wages and market hours. Quantitatively, the model accounts for an important share of the observed trends in women's hours and relative wages.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-44, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:1-44
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20150253
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General

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