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Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy

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  • L. Rachel Ngai
  • Barbara Petrongolo

Abstract

This paper explains the narrowing of gender gaps in wages and market hours in recent decades by the growth of the service economy. We propose a model with three sectors: goods, services and home production. Women have a comparative advantage in the production of services in the market and at home. The growth of the services sector, in turn driven by structural transformation and marketization of home services, acts as a gender-biased demand shift and leads to a rise in women's wages and market hours relative to men. Quantitatively, the model accounts for an important share of the observed rise in women's relative wage and market hours and the fall in men's market hours.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2013. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," CEP Discussion Papers dp1204, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1204
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender gaps; structural transformation; marketization;

    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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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