Female Progress and Discrimination. An Economic Perspective
In the last 20 years, women’s economic progress has been staggering; this progress is particularly startling given that this has also been a period of marked increases in income inequality overall, declining relative wages of blacks, and declining real wages of low-skilled workers. Recent work has proposed a number of possible explanations for the progress of women, including changing social norms (in part facilitated by technological/pharmaceutical advances), increasing skill acquisition, changes in the general wage structure, and changes in the discriminatory environment. This paper examines the literature in this area, focusing first on the trends in women’s economic status and how we can explain them and then turning to how the literature on discrimination has evolved and how it can inform our discussion.
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