IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecanpo/v66y2020icp207-216.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Revisiting the gender wage gap in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Gharehgozli, Orkideh
  • Atal, Vidya

Abstract

In this paper, we revisit the gender wage inequality in the United States with a focus on the deciles level wage-distribution in the USA during 1986 to 2016. We find that with the inclusion of part time employed men and women, the overall ratio of women’s to men’s wages in 1986 was 53 percent and this ratio increased to 67 percent as of 2016, suggesting a very moderate decline in overall gender wage gap over three decades. Moreover, our study decomposes the trends of the gender wage gap by the deciles and provides a description of the trends at the decile level for the recent years. We find that a higher gender unemployment gap has been associated with lower gender wage gap. Moreover, although the wage gap has declined moderately, within each gender, the wage-income share of the bottom decile to the top decile has dropped (and Coefficient of Variation has gone up), with a higher magnitude for women, suggesting an increase in wage inequality within each gender with a higher intensity for women. Finally, we demonstrate that traditional economic “reasons” for the gender wage gap–part time jobs and lack of skill–fail to explain the current gap convincingly, indicating an implicit gender discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Gharehgozli, Orkideh & Atal, Vidya, 2020. "Revisiting the gender wage gap in the United States," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 207-216.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecanpo:v:66:y:2020:i:c:p:207-216
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2020.04.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S031359261930640X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.eap.2020.04.008?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
    2. Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Mathias G. Sinning, 2014. "Distributional Changes in the Gender Wage Gap," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(2), pages 335-361, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History," NBER Working Papers 4707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
    6. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    8. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why is the US Falling Behind?," IZA Discussion Papers 7140, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 251-256, May.
    10. Scott Loveridge & Dusan Paredes, 2018. "Are Rural Costs of Living Lower? Evidence from a Big Mac Index Approach," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 41(3), pages 364-382, May.
    11. Solomon W. Polachek, 2019. "Equal pay legislation and the gender wage gap," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-16, October.
    12. Vittorio Daniele & Paolo Malanima, 2017. "Regional Wages and the North-South Disparity in Italy after the Unification," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 117-158.
    13. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01gb19f581g is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin & Joseph Song, 2010. "The unemployment gender gap during the 2007 recession," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 16(Feb).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ignacio Amate-Fortes & Almudena Guarnido-Rueda & Diego Martínez-Navarro & Francisco J. Oliver-Márquez, 0. "Measuring inequality in income distribution between men and women: what causes gender inequality in Europe?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-24.
    2. Gustavo Tietz Cazeri & Izabela Simon Rampasso & Walter Leal Filho & Osvaldo Luiz Gonçalves Quelhas & Milena Pavan Serafim & Rosley Anholon, 2021. "Gender Wage Gaps in Brazilian Companies Listed in the Ibovespa Index: A Critical Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(12), pages 1-11, June.
    3. Ignacio Amate-Fortes & Almudena Guarnido-Rueda & Diego Martínez-Navarro & Francisco J. Oliver-Márquez, 2021. "Measuring inequality in income distribution between men and women: what causes gender inequality in Europe?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 395-418, April.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Katie Meara & Francesco Pastore & Allan Webster, 2020. "The gender pay gap in the USA: a matching study," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 271-305, January.
    2. Marianne Bertrand, 2018. "Coase Lecture – The Glass Ceiling," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(338), pages 205-231, April.
    3. Chen Huang, 2018. "Why Are U.S. Women Decreasing Their Labor Force Participation If Their Wages Are Rising?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(4), pages 2010-2026, October.
    4. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2016. "Prevalence of Long Hours and Skilled Women's Occupational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 10225, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Mehrotra, Santosh & Parida, Jajati K., 2017. "Why is the Labour Force Participation of Women Declining in India?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 360-380.
    6. Fortin, Nicole M. & Bell, Brian & Böhm, Michael, 2017. "Top earnings inequality and the gender pay gap: Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 107-123.
    7. Ge, Suqin & Zhou, Yu, 2020. "Robots, computers, and the gender wage gap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 194-222.
    8. Becker, Sascha O. & Fernandes, Ana & Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2019. "Discrimination in hiring based on potential and realized fertility: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 139-152.
    9. Costa-Font, Joan & Flèche, Sarah, 2020. "Child sleep and mother labour market outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    10. Gallen, Yana & Lesner, Rune V. & Vejlin, Rune, 2019. "The labor market gender gap in Denmark: Sorting out the past 30 years," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 58-67.
    11. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    12. Angela Carollo & Anna Oksuzyan & Sven Drefahl & Carlo Giovanni Camarda & Linda Juel Ahrenfeldt & Kaare Christensen & Alyson van Raalte, 2019. "Is the age difference between partners related to women's earnings?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 41(15), pages 425-460.
    13. Meara, Katie & Pastore, Francesco & Webster, Allan, 2017. "Is the gender pay gap in the US just the result of gender segregation at work?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 40, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    14. Elena Nebolsina, 2020. "The Impact of Demographic Burden on Insurance Density," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(4), pages 21582440209, December.
    15. Alexandre Mas & Amanda Pallais, 2020. "Alternative Work Arrangements," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 631-658, August.
    16. Martha J. Bailey & Tanya S. Byker & Elena Patel & Shanthi Ramnath, 2019. "The Long-Term Effects of California’s 2004 Paid Family Leave Act on Women’s Careers: Evidence from U.S. Tax Data," NBER Working Papers 26416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Alica Ida Bonk & Laure Simon, 2021. "From He-Cession to She-Stimulus? The Labor Market Impact of Fiscal Policy Across Gender," Staff Working Papers 21-42, Bank of Canada.
    18. Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2016. "Couples' Retirement under Individual Pension Design: A Regression Discontinuity Study for France," IZA Discussion Papers 10322, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "When the opportunity knocks: large structural shocks and gender wage gaps," GRAPE Working Papers 2, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    20. Benjamin Bennett & Isil Erel & Léa H. Stern & Zexi Wang, 2020. "Paid Leave Pays Off: The Effects of Paid Family Leave on Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 27788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender wage gap; Big mac index; Inequality; Wage distribution decile; Comparative country studies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecanpo:v:66:y:2020:i:c:p:207-216. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/economic-analysis-and-policy .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/economic-analysis-and-policy .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.