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The Gender Unemployment Gap

  • Albanesi, Stefania
  • Sahin, Aysegul

The unemployment gender gap, defined as the difference between female and male unemployment rates, was positive until 1980. This gap virtually disappeared after 1980, except during recessions when men's unemployment rate always exceeds women's. We study the evolution of these gender differences in unemployment from a long-run perspective and over the business cycle. Using a calibrated three-state search model of the labor market, we show that the rise in female labor force attachment and the decline in male attachment can mostly account for the closing of the gender unemployment gap. Evidence from nineteen OECD countries also supports the notion that convergence in attachment is associated with a decline in the gender unemployment gap. At the cyclical frequency, we find that gender differences in industry composition are important in recessions, especially the most recent, but they do not explain gender differences in employment growth during recoveries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9448.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9448
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  2. Pietro Garibaldi & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment, Endogenous Participation, And Labor Market Flows," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 851-882, 06.
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  5. Ghazala Azmat & Maia Guell & Alan Manning, 2004. "Gender gaps in unemployment rates in OECD countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19995, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 3838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  9. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  10. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 1-81.
  11. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  13. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 1998. "Job-to-Job and Job-to-Nonemployment Turnover by Gender and Education Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 392-443, April.
  14. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment of Women," NBER Working Papers 3837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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