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Are Estimates of Sex Discrimination by Employers Robust? The Use of Never-Marrieds

  • Fishback, Price V
  • Terza, Joseph V

Current decomposition estimates of sex discrimination by employers are not robust. Many "unobservables," like motivation and attitudes toward work, are left unmeasured. The authors estimate sex discrimination with two plausible methods of controlling for a major unobservable--acceptance of male and female traditional roles in the household. The methods offer enormously different estimates of sex discrimination. One estimates sex discrimination at over 61 percent of the female wage, the other finds little sex discrimination and possibly favoritism toward women. The range in estimates is so large that point estimates of sex discrimination by employers are of little use to policymakers. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 27 (1989)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 271-85

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:27:y:1989:i:2:p:271-85
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