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Continuous Female Workers: How Different Are They from Other Women?

  • Elaine Sorensen

    (Urban Institute)

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    Many economists have argued that women earn less than men because they work intermittently. Although several studies have estimated the extent to which intermittent labor force participation affects women's earnings, previous research has not compared the labor market outcomes of women who work continuously to those of other women. This paper estimates a bivariate probit selection model for intermittent and continuous female workers. The results show that women who work continuously have higher levels of education and are more likely to have remained single and childless than other women. The paper also finds a large pay disparity between intermittent and continuous female workers, most of which is due to differences in measured characteristics. Implications for labor market discrimination are discussed.

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    Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 19 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 15-32

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    Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:19:y:1993:i:1:p:15-32
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    1. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
    2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    3. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Blau, Francine D & Ferber, Marianne A, 1987. "Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 316-20, May.
    6. Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Life-Cycle Labor-Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications," Scholarly Articles 2656816, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Blakemore, Arthur E & Low, Stuart A, 1984. "Sex Differences in Occupational Selection: The Case of College Majors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 157-63, February.
    8. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
    9. Goldin, Claudia & Polachek, Solomon, 1987. "Residual Differences by Sex: Perspectives on the Gender Gap in Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 143-51, May.
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