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Labor Immobility and the Formation of Gender Wage Gaps in Local Markets

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  • Ofek, Haim
  • Merrill, Yesook

Abstract

Family ties have an important effect on the wage gap between male and female workers because wives are often more geographically tied to their husband's location, which may not be the best market for the wife's skills. Theory implies a testable inverse relationship between urban size--reflecting labor market size--and male-female wage differentials. The authors' results indicate that the wage gap between married men and women narrows with urban size. About 17 percent of the wage gap between married men and women can be accounted for by urban size--or, more fundamentally, by geographic immobility due to the family tie constraint. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ofek, Haim & Merrill, Yesook, 1997. "Labor Immobility and the Formation of Gender Wage Gaps in Local Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 28-47, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:35:y:1997:i:1:p:28-47
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    Cited by:

    1. Battu, H. & Seaman, P.T & Sloane, P.J., "undated". "Are Married Women Spatially Constrained? A test of gender differentials in labour market outcomes," Working Papers 98-07, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
    2. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315.
    3. Clemente Pignatti Morano, 2014. "The determinants of overeducation: Evidence from the Italian labour market," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 9,in: Adela García Aracil & Isabel Neira Gómez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 9, edition 1, volume 9, chapter 35, pages 681-698 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    4. Janice Compton & Robert A. Pollak, 2007. "Why Are Power Couples Increasingly Concentrated in Large Metropolitan Areas?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 475-512.
    5. Büchel, Felix & Battu, Harminder, 2002. "The Theory of Differential Overqualification: Does it Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 511, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Murphy, Kevin J., 2007. "The impact of unemployment insurance taxes on wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 457-484, June.
    7. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2011. "Spouse Overeducation and Family Migration: Evidence from the US," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 36-45, March.
    8. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, 2008. "The labor market experience and impact of undocumented workers," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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