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Market Forces and Sex Discrimination

  • Judith K. Hellerstein
  • David Neumark
  • Kenneth R. Troske

We report new evidence on the existence of sex discrimination in wages and whether competitive market forces reduce or eliminate discrimination, based on plant- and firm-level data on profitability, growth and ownership changes, product market power, and workforce sex composition. Our strongest finding is that among plants with high levels of product market power, those employing more women are more profitable, consistent with sex discrimination in the short run when plants have product market power. We do not find that these discriminatory employers are punished over time through lower growth, or are bought out by nondiscriminators.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 37 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 353-380

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:37:y:2002:i:2:p:353-380
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  1. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  2. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
  3. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  4. Goldberg, Matthew S, 1982. "Discrimination, Nepotism, and Long-Run Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 307-19, May.
  5. Kenneth R Troske, 1994. "Evidence on the Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," Working Papers 94-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Joni Hersch, 1991. "Equal Employment Opportunity Law and Firm Profitability," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 139-153.
  7. Ashenfelter, Orley & Hannan, Timothy, 1986. "Sex Discrimination and Product Market Competition: The Case of the Banking Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 149-73, February.
  8. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
  10. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  12. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Business Cycles and the Relationship Between Concentration and Price-Cost Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
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