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Gender Differences in Physician Pay: Tradeoffs Between Career and Family

  • Alicia C. Sasser
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    This paper analyzes how much of the gender earnings gap among physicians is due to women’s greater family responsibilities. Women physicians earn 11 percent less for being married plus 14 percent less for having one child and 22 percent less for having more than one child. Before marrying/having children, women physicians who later became wives or mothers had higher earnings than those who remained single and childless, but sharply reduced their hours of work after marrying/having children. The results suggest that these earnings gaps do not reflect adverse selection but rather individual choices given time constraints imposed by family responsibilities.

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

    Volume (Year): 40 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:40:y:2005:i:2:p477-504
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    1. Francine D. Blau, 1997. "Trends in the Well-Being of American Women, 1970-1995," NBER Working Papers 6206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
    3. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
    4. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
    6. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
    7. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, July.
    8. Barbara H. Kehrer, 1976. "Factors Affecting the Incomes of Men and Women Physicians: An Exploratory," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 11(4), pages 526-545.
    9. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
    10. O'Neill, June & Polachek, Solomon, 1993. "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-28, January.
    11. Kathryn M. Langwell, 1982. "Factors Affecting the Incomes of Men and Women Physicians: Further Explorations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(2), pages 261-275.
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