Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions, and the Gender Gap
In this paper, we propose a novel rank-based procedure to decompose changes in the gender wage gap into three components: changes in the skill distribution, changes in the wage structure, and improvements in the position of women in a "distribution of reference." Using CPS data from 1979 and 1991, we perform the decomposition at each percentile of the wage distribution and show that the results are sensitive to the choice of distribution of reference (male versus overall wage distribution). We also find that relative wage gains of women may have been a source of increasing wage inequality among men.
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