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Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Outcomes

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  • David Neumark
  • Michele McLennan

Abstract

The human capital explanation of sex differences in wages is that, owing to specialization in household production, women intend to work in the labor market more intermittently than men, and therefore invest less, leading to lower wage growth. An alternative "feedback" hypothesis is that women experience labor market discrimination and respond with career interruptions, less investment, and lower wage growth. This paper explores the relationship between self-reported discrimination and subsequent labor market outcomes to test this alternative hypothesis. Some of the evidence is consistent with the feedback hypothesis. Working women who report discrimination are more likely subsequently to change employers, to have children, and to marry. However, the evidence is not consistent with the two implications of the feedback hypothesis that most directly challenge the human capital explanation of sex differences in wages; women who report discrimination do not accumulate less experience, nor do they have lower wage growth.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark & Michele McLennan, 1995. "Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 713-740.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:i:4:p:713-740
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    Cited by:

    1. Tolga Cebeci & Sammar Essmat, 2015. "Women-Led Enterprises in Turkey," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25409, The World Bank.
    2. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "Racial and ethnic discrimination in local consumer markets: Exploiting the army's procedures for matching personnel to duty locations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 496-509, September.
    3. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Eric Helland, 2014. "Bias in the Legal Profession: Self-Assessed versus Statistical Measures of Discrimination," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 323-357.
    4. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
    5. Elizabeth Monk-Turner & Charlie Turner, 2001. "Sex Differentials in Earnings in the South Korean Labor Market," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 63-78.
    6. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1997. "Age Discrimination, Job Separations, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 779-811.
    7. Justina A.V. Fischer & Christian Bjornskov & Axel Dreher, 2007. "On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    8. Scott Adams & John Heywood & Laurie Miller, 2014. "Caregivers, firm policies and gender discrimination claims," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 359-377, June.
    9. Debra A. Barbezat & James W. Hughes, 2001. "The Effect Of Job Mobility On Academic Salaries," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(4), pages 409-423, October.
    10. Cagla Okten, 2015. "Female Entrepreneurship in Turkey," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25410, The World Bank.
    11. Alan Duncan & Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Taverdi, 2016. "Self-assessed versus statistical evidence of labour market discrimination," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1602, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    12. repec:zbw:boesws:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Garcia-Aracil, Adela & Winter, Carolyn, 2006. "Gender and ethnicity differentials in school attainment and labor market earnings in Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 289-307, February.
    14. Alan Duncan & Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi, 2016. "Self-assessed versus statistical evidence of labour market discrimination The case of indigenous Australians," WIDER Working Paper Series 070, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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