IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time

  • Casey B. Mulligan

    (University of Chicago and NBER)

  • Yona Rubinstein

    (Brown University, CEPR, and IZA)

In theory, growing wage inequality within gender should cause women to invest more in their market productivity and should differentially pull able women into the workforce. Our paper uses Heckman's two-step estimator and identification at infinity on repeated Current Population Survey cross sections to calculate relative wage series for women since 1970 that hold constant the composition of skills. We find that selection into the female full-time full-year workforce shifted from negative in the 1970s to positive in the 1990s, and that the majority of the apparent narrowing of the gender wage gap reflects changes in female workforce composition. We find the same types of composition changes by measuring husbands' wages and National Longitudinal Survey IQ data as proxies for unobserved skills. Our findings help to explain why growing wage equality between genders coincided with growing inequality within gender. (c) 2008 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 123 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 1061-1110

in new window

Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:3:p:1061-1110
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:3:p:1061-1110. 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: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.