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The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People

  • Nicole M. Fortin

Using two single-cohort longitudinal surveys, the NLS72 and the NELS88, I investigate the impact of four noncognitive traits—self-esteem, external locus of control, the importance of money/work and the importance of people/ family—on wages and on the gender wage gap among these young workers. I find that gender differences in these noncognitive factors, especially the importance of money/work, have a modest but significant role in accounting for the gender wage gap. Methodologically, this paper proposes a correction to the Oaxaca-Blinder-Ransom decomposition that results in a truly decomposable approach compatible with the simple pooled regression that includes a gender dummy.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/43/4/884
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 43 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:43:y:2008:i4:p884-918
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Thomas DeLeire & Margo Coleman, 2000. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Working Papers 0019, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Ugidos Olazabal, Arantza & Gardeazabal, Javier, 2002. "More on Identification on Detailed Wage Decompositions," DFAEII Working Papers 2002-17, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  3. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glen R. Waddell, 2006. "Labor-Market Consequences of Poor Attitude and Low Self-Esteem in Youth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 69-97, January.
  6. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
  7. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-29, October.
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