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Unequal Pay for Women and Men: Evidence from the British Birth Cohort Studies


  • Heather Joshi

    () (Centre for Longitudinal Studies)

  • Pierella Paci

    () (World Bank)


For most of recorded history, men's pay has tended to be higher than women's. In Unequal Pay for Women and Men, Heather Joshi and Pierella Paci look at why gender pay inequality matters. They argue that no amount of training, maternity and parental leave, or child care provisions will change women's economic status if pay treatment remains unequal--if the market values men's time more than women's. The book is the result of an extensive study of the relative wages of British men and women between 1978 and 1991. Using two large and extremely detailed longitudinal data sets, one of women and men born in 1946, and the other of women and men born in 1958, the authors examine the evolution of the pay gap over time and evaluate the success of policies designed to establish equal pay. Although the book focuses mainly on Britain, the results are of interest to labor economists in other countries, as well as to researchers in other fields studying the changing role of women in the labor force.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Joshi & Pierella Paci, 2001. "Unequal Pay for Women and Men: Evidence from the British Birth Cohort Studies," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262600390, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262600390

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Van Wijnbergen, Sweden, 1986. "On fiscal deficits, the real exchange rate and the world rate of interest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1013-1023, October.
    2. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
    3. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    4. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    6. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    7. Uzawa, H, 1969. "Time Preference and the Penrose Effect in a Two-Class Model of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 628-652, Part II, .
    8. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1987. "Tariffs, Employment and the Current Account: Real Wage Resistance and the Macroeconomics of Protectionism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 691-706, October.
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    More about this item


    gender pay inequality; Britain;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General


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