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The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data

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  • Erling Barth

    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo
    NBER)

  • Sari Pekkala Kerr

    (Wellesley College)

  • Claudia Olivetti

    (Boston College
    NBER)

Abstract

We use a unique match between the 2000 Decennial Census of the United States and the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) data to analyze how much of the increase in the gender earnings gap over the lifecycle comes from shifts in the sorting of men and women across high- and low-pay establishments and how much is due to differential earnings growth within establishments. We find that for the college educated the increase is substantial and, for the most part, due to differential earnings growth within establishment by gender. The between component is also important. Differential mobility between establishments by gender can explain approximately thirty percent of the overall gap widening for this group. For those with no college, the, relatively small, increase of the gender gap over the lifecycle can be fully explained by differential moves by gender across establishments. The evidence suggests that, for both education groups, the between-establishment component of the increasing wage gap is entirely driven by those who are married.

Suggested Citation

  • Erling Barth & Sari Pekkala Kerr & Claudia Olivetti, 2017. "The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 923, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:923
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    2. Elise Coudin & Sophie Maillard & Maxime Tô, 2018. "Family, Firms and the Gender Wage Gap in France," Working Papers 2018-09, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    3. Johnsen, Julian Vedeler & Ku, Hyejin & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2020. "Competition and Career Advancement: The Hidden Costs of Paid Leave," CEPR Discussion Papers 15157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    6. Boll Christina & Wolf André & Rossen Anja, 2017. "The EU Gender Earnings Gap: Job Segregation and Working Time as Driving Factors," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 237(5), pages 407-452, October.
    7. Li, Jiang & Dostie, Benoit & Simard-Duplain, Gaëlle, 2020. "What Is the Role of Firm-Specific Pay Policies on the Gender Earnings Gap in Canada?," IZA Discussion Papers 13907, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. V. Joseph Hotz & Per Johansson & Arizo Karimi, 2017. "Parenthood, Family Friendly Workplaces, and the Gender Gaps in Early Work Careers," NBER Working Papers 24173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Fuchs, Michaela & Rossen, Anja & Weyh, Antje & Wydra-Somaggio, Gabriele, 2019. "Why do women earn more than men in some regions? : Explaining regional differences in the gender pay gap in Germany," IAB-Discussion Paper 201911, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    10. Grissom, Jason A. & Timmer, Jennifer D. & Nelson, Jennifer L. & Blissett, Richard S.L., 2021. "Unequal pay for equal work? Unpacking the gender gap in principal compensation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    11. Cecilia Machado & Marcelo Neri & Valdemar Pinho Neto, 2018. "The gender gap, education, and the life cycle profile in the Brazilian formal labour market," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-156, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Cook, Cody & Diamond, Rebecca & Hall, Jonathan & List, John A. & Oyer, Paul, 2018. "The Gender Earnings Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from over a Million Rideshare Drivers," Research Papers repec:ecl:stabus:3637, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    13. Hennig, Jan-Luca & Stadler, Balazs, 2021. "Firm-specific pay premiums and the gender wage gap in 21 European countries," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242354, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Elizabeth J. Casabianca & Alessia Lo Turco & Claudia Pigini, 2020. "Equal Pay for Equal Task: Assessing Heterogeneous Returns to Tasks across Genders," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 197-239, April.
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    17. Mary Ann Bronson, 2018. "The Lifecycle Wage Growth of Men and Women: Explaining Gender Differences in Wage Trajectories," 2018 Meeting Papers 923, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Bøler, Esther Ann & Javorcik, Beata & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene, 2018. "Working across time zones: Exporters and the gender wage gap," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 122-133.
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    20. Mary Ann Bronson & Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2017. "The Lifecycle Wage Growth of Men and Women: Explaining Gender Differences in Wage Trajectories," Working Papers gueconwpa~17-17-06, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings; gender differentials; earnings inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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