IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ese/iserwp/2018-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The distribution of the gender wage gap

Author

Listed:
  • Bhalotra, Sonia
  • Fernandez Sierra, Manuel

Abstract

We analyse impacts of the rising labor force participation of women on the gender wage gap. We formulate and structurally estimate an equilibrium model of the labor market in which the elasticity of substitution between male and female labor is allowed to vary depending on the task content of occupations. We find that the elasticity of substitution is higher in high-paying occupations that are intensive in abstract and analytical tasks than in low-paying manual and routine occupations. Consistent with this we find a narrowing of the gender wage gap towards the upper end of the wage distribution and an increase in the gender wage gap at the low end. Demand side trends favoured women and this attenuated the supply-driven downward pressure on women's wages in low-paying occupations, and fully counteracted it in high-paying occupations. The paper contributes new evidence on the distribution of the gender wage gaps, and contributes to a wider literature on technological change, occupational sorting, wage inequality and polarization.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernandez Sierra, Manuel, 2018. "The distribution of the gender wage gap," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2018-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2018-10.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2016. "The China Shock: Learning from Labor-Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 205-240, October.
    2. Kevin M. Murphy & Finis Welch, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-41, January.
    4. Claudia Goldin & Claudia Olivetti, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 257-262, May.
    5. Jérôme Adda & Christian Dustmann & Katrien Stevens, 2017. "The Career Costs of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 293-337.
    6. Cruces, Guillermo & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "Fertility and female labor supply in Latin America: New causal evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 565-573, June.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Lisa B. Kahn & Jamin D. Speer, 2014. "Trends in Earnings Differentials across College Majors and the Changing Task Composition of Jobs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 387-393, May.
    8. repec:idb:idbbks:6384 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Litchfield, Julie A., 2008. "The Rise And Fall Of Brazilian Inequality: 1981–2004," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 199-230, September.
    10. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    11. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
    12. Rendall, Michelle, 2013. "Structural Change in Developing Countries: Has it Decreased Gender Inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-16.
    13. Juhn, Chinhui & Kim, Dae Il, 1999. "The Effects of Rising Female Labor Supply on Male Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 23-48, January.
    14. Matthew Johnson & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of the US Wage Structure, 1968-1996," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-49.
    15. Claudia Goldin & Claudia Olivetti, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on U.S. Women's Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 18676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2010. "Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: The Role of Demand and Supply of Skills," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 307-326, January.
    17. Sandra E. Black & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2010. "Explaining Women's Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women's Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 187-194, February.
    18. Michael Baker & Kirsten Cornelson, 2018. "Gender-Based Occupational Segregation and Sex Differences in Sensory, Motor, and Spatial Aptitudes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(5), pages 1749-1775, October.
    19. Mauro Caselli, 2014. "Trade, skill-biased technical change and wages in Mexican manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 336-348, January.
    20. Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
    21. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    22. Ñopo, Hugo R., 2012. "New century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Earnings Gaps in Latin America and The Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 6384, April.
    23. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    24. repec:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:555-573 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Leonardo Gasparini & Nora Lustig, 2011. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1110, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    26. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
    27. Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti & José Tavares, 2008. "Assessing the "Engines of Liberation": Home Appliances and Female Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 81-88, February.
    28. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
    29. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana Amyra & Neuman, Shoshana, 1988. "Women's Labor Supply and Marital Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1294-1302, December.
    30. Randall S. Brown & Marilyn Moon & Barbara S. Zoloth, 1980. "Occupational Attainment and Segregation by Sex," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 506-517, July.
    31. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2004. "Women, War, and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 497-551, June.
    32. repec:idb:brikps:78540 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Long-Run Substitutability Between More and Less Educated Workers: Evidence from U.S. States, 1950-1990," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 652-663, November.
    34. Christina Gathmann & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-49, January.
    35. Goldin, Claudia, 1986. "Monitoring Costs and Occupational Segregation by Sex: A Historical Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, January.
    36. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2011. "Occupational Tasks and Changes in the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 5542, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    37. Juhn, Chinhui & Ujhelyi, Gergely & Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina, 2014. "Men, women, and machines: How trade impacts gender inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 179-193.
    38. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
    39. Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez & Jim Airola & Chinhui Juhn & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, 2014. "Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? the Case of Mexico in the 1990s," Research in Labor Economics,in: New Analyses of Worker Well-Being, volume 38, pages 1-35 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    40. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
    41. Michelle Petersen Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus brawn: the realization of women's comparative advantage," IEW - Working Papers 491, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2017.
    42. Goldin, Claudia, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family," Scholarly Articles 2943933, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    43. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    44. Chinhui Juhn & Sandra E. Black, 2000. "The Rise of Female Professionals: Are Women Responding to Skill Demand?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 450-455, May.
    45. Hugo Ñopo, 2012. "New Century, Old Disparities : Gender and Ethnic Earnings Gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11953, September.
    46. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    47. B. Essama-Nssah & Peter J. Lambert, 2011. "Influence functions for distributional statistics," Working Papers 236, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    48. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    49. Coen-Pirani, Daniele & León, Alexis & Lugauer, Steven, 2010. "The effect of household appliances on female labor force participation: Evidence from microdata," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 503-513, June.
    50. Santiago Levy & Norbert Schady, 2013. "Latin America's Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 193-218, Spring.
    51. Raquel Fernández & Joyce C. Wong, 2014. "Divorce Risk, Wages, and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis of Female Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 19869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    52. Chiara Binelli & Orazio Attanasio, 2010. "Mexico in the 1990s: the Main Cross-Sectional Facts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 238-264, January.
    53. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2011. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1103-1138, July.
    54. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
    55. Raquel Fernández & Joyce Cheng Wong, 2014. "Divorce Risk, Wages and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life‐Cycle Analysis of Female Labour Force Participation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 319-358, May.
    56. Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.
    57. Welch, Ivo, 2000. "Herding among security analysts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 369-396, December.
    58. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    59. Akbulut, Rahşan, 2011. "Sectoral Changes And The Increase In Women'S Labor Force Participation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 240-264, April.
    60. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
    61. Topel, Robert H, 1994. "Regional Labor Markets and the Determinants of Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 17-22, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. NAVARRO-GÓMEZ, María Lucía & RUEDA-NARVÁEZ, Mario F., 2014. "Segregación Laboral Por Género En España: Efectos Sobre Los Salarios Y La Movilidad Salarial," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(3), pages 131-154.
    2. Claudio Quintano & Rosalia Castellano & Antonella Rocca, 2010. "Male-female discrimination: an analysis of gender gap and its determinants," Statistica, Department of Statistics, University of Bologna, vol. 70(2), pages 171-190.
    3. Aline Zucco, 2019. "Occupational Characteristics and the Gender Pay Gap," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1794, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2018-10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonathan Nears). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/rcessuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.