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Gender Wage Gap Accounting: The Role of Selection Bias

Author

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  • Michael Bar

    ()

  • Seik Kim

    ()

  • Oksana Leukhina

    ()

Abstract

Mulligan and Rubinstein ( 2008 ) (MR) argued that changing selection of working females on unobservable characteristics, from negative in the 1970s to positive in the 1990s, accounted for nearly the entire closing of the gender wage gap. We argue that their female wage equation estimates are inconsistent. Correcting this error substantially weakens the role of the rising selection bias (39 % versus 78 %) and strengthens the contribution of declining discrimination (42 % versus 7 %). Our findings resonate better with related literature. We also explain why our finding of positive selection in the 1970s provides additional support for MR’s main hypothesis that an exogenous rise in the market value of unobservable characteristics contributed to the closing of the gender gap. Copyright Population Association of America 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Bar & Seik Kim & Oksana Leukhina, 2015. "Gender Wage Gap Accounting: The Role of Selection Bias," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1729-1750, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:52:y:2015:i:5:p:1729-1750
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0418-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Töpfer, Marina & Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa, 2016. "Discriminate me - if you can! The Disappearance of the Gender Pay Gap among Public-Contest Selected Employees," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145905, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Töpfer, Marina, 2017. "Detailed RIF decomposition with selection: The gender pay gap in Italy," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 26-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    3. repec:spr:empeco:v:54:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-017-1264-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ben Sand & Chris Bidner, 2016. "Job Prospects and Pay Gaps: Theory and Evidence on the Gender Gap from U.S. Cities," Discussion Papers dp16-14, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    5. Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa & Töpfer, Marina, 2017. "The convergence of the gender pay gap: An alternative estimation approach," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 14-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. Töpfer, Marina, 2017. "Detailed RIF Decomposition with Selection - The Gender Pay Gap in Italy," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168422, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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