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Career Starts and the Male-Female Wage Gap


  • Nathalie Havet
  • Guy Lacroix


The paper focuses on the early career patterns of young male and female workers. It investigates potential dynamic links between statistical discrimination, mobility, tenure and wage profiles. The model assumes that it is more costly for an employer to assess female workers' productivity and that the noise/signal ratio tapers off more rapidly for male workers. These two assumptions yield numerous theoretical predictions pertaining to gender wage gaps. These are tested using French data. It turns out most predictions are supported by the data. Dans ce travail, nous nous intéressons à l'évolution des carrières des jeunes travailleurs masculins et féminins au cours des premières années de vie active. Nous étudions dans un contexte dynamique les liens pouvant exister entre la discrimination statistique, la mobilité professionnelle, l'ancienneté en entreprise et les profils salariaux. Le modèle théorique postule qu'il est plus coûteux pour les employeurs d'évaluer la productivité des travailleurs féminins. On postule également que l'erreur de mesure portant sur la productivité disparaît plus rapidement pour les travailleurs masculins. Ces deux hypothèses génèrent de nombreuses prédictions théoriques falsifiables concernant les écarts salariaux hommes/femmes en début de carrière. Ces prédictions sont confrontées à des données françaises. Nous trouvons que la plupart des prédictions théoriques sont cohérentes avec les données.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathalie Havet & Guy Lacroix, 2003. "Career Starts and the Male-Female Wage Gap," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-55, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2003s-55

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    Cited by:

    1. Nathalie Havet & Carole Brunet, 2009. "Propriété immobilière et déqualifications dans l'emploi," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(1), pages 121-155.
    2. Carole Brunet & Nathalie Havet, 2011. "Homeownership and job-match quality in France," Working Papers 1131, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.

    More about this item


    gender wage gap; job transitions; mover-stayer model; Écarts salariaux hommes/femmes; mobilité professionnelle; modèle mover-stayer;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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