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The Gender Gap

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  • Graciela Chichilnisky

Abstract

The author explains the "gender gap" as a Nash equilibrium of a game with incomplete information about women's work at home and in the marketplace. Expectations about women's lower wages leads to the overutilization of women in the household, and this, in turn, leads to lower productivity and lower wages for women in the marketplace. The situation is rational but generally Pareto inferior. With logistic learning by doing, at high levels of skill there is a Pareto-superior equilibrium, where men and women share efforts equally at home and receive the same pay in the marketplace, firms enhance their profits, and there is more welfare at home. Inequity at home breeds inequity in the marketplace and, reciprocally, inequity in the marketplace leads to inequity at home, causing a persistent gender gap. Appropriate contracts may be needed to implement the superior solution, since generally governments do not intervene in family matters. Copyright © 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Graciela Chichilnisky, 2008. "The Gender Gap," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 828-844, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:12:y:2008:i:4:p:828-844
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 45-66, October.
    2. Aronsson, Thomas & Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Wikström, Magnus, 2001. "Intra-household Tax Avoidance: An Application to Swedish Household Data," Umeå Economic Studies 572, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    3. Meyersson Milgrom, Eva M & Petersen, Trond & Snartland, Vemund, 2001. " Equal Pay for Equal Work? Evidence from Sweden and a Comparison with Norway and the U.S," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 559-583, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muriithi, Beatrice, 2015. "Smallholder Horticultural Commercialization: Gender Roels and Implications for Household Well-being in Kenya," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212516, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2015. "Gender equality and economic growth in Brazil: A long-run analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 155-172.
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:26 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pierre-André Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2009. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1689-1713, December.
    5. Magali Recoules, 2011. "How can gender discrimination explain fertility behaviors and family-friendly policies?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 505-521, December.

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