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The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries

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Listed:
  • Claudia Olivetti

    (Boston College
    NBER)

  • Barbara Petrongolo

    (Queen Mary University
    Centre for Economic Performance, LSE)

Abstract

Women in developed economies have made major inroads in labor markets throughout the past century, but remaining gender differences in pay and employment seem remarkably persistent. This paper documents long-run trends in female employment, working hours and relative wages for a wide cross-section of developed economies. It reviews existing work on the factors driving gender convergence, and novel perspectives on remaining gender gaps. The paper finally emphasizes the interplay between gender trends and the evolution of the industry structure. Based on a shift-share decomposition, it shows that the growth in the service share can explain at least half of the overall variation in female hours, both over time and across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2016. "The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 889, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:889
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender gaps; demand and supply; industry structure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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