Importing equality? The effects of increased competition on the gender wage gap
It is now well documented that the gender wage gap declined substantially in the 1980s, despite rising overall wage inequality. While Blau and Kahn (JoLE 1997) attribute much of this improvement to gains in women's relative labor market experience and other observable characteristics, a substantial part of the decline in the gender wage gap remains unexplained, and may be due to reduced discrimination against women in the labor market. This paper tests the hypothesis (based on Becker 1957) that increased globalization in the 1980s forced employers to reduce costly discrimination against women and thus accounted for part of the "unexplained" improvement in the gender pay gap. ; To test this hypothesis, we calculate the change in the residual gender wage gap across industries (as well as cities) over time using CPS data from 1977 - 1994, and test the correlation between this measure and changes in import shares. The wage data are further broken down by the type of market structure in an industry, i.e. whether the industry is concentrated or competitive. Since concentrated industries face little competitive pressure to reduce discrimination, an increase in competition from increased trade should lead to a reduction in the residual gender wage gap. We use a difference-in-differences approach to compare the change in the residual gender wage gap in concentrated versus unconcentrated sectors, using the latter as a control for changes in the gender wage gap that are unrelated to competitive pressures. The findings indicate that increased competition through trade did contribute to the narrowing of the gender wage gap, suggesting that, at least in this sense, trade may benefit women relative to men.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045-0001|
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/ Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
- José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1999.
"Employment versus Wage Adjustment and the U.S. Dollar,"
99-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Employment Versus Wage Adjustment And The U.S. Dollar," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 477-489, August.
- Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1998. "Employment versus wage adjustment and the U.S. dollar," Staff Reports 56, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1998. "Employment versus Wage Adjustment and the US Dollar," NBER Working Papers 6749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levinsohn, James, 1993.
"Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
- James Levinsohn, 1991. "Testing the Imports-as-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 3657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levinsohn, J., 1991. "Testing the Imports-As-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," Working Papers 272, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- Claudia Goldin, 1990.
"Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women,"
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1.
- Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, June.
- Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997.
"Market Forces and Sex Discrimination,"
NBER Working Papers
6321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
- Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Noel Gaston & Daniel Trefler, 1994. "Protection, Trade, and Wages: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 574-593, July.
- George J. Borjas & Valerie A. Ramey, 1995. "Foreign Competition, Market Power, and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1075-1110.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Timothy Hannan, 1986. "Sex Discrimination and Product Market Competition: The Case of the Banking Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 149-173.
- Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
- David A. Jaeger & Susanna Loeb & Sarah E. Turner & John Bound, 1998. "Coding Geographic Areas Across Census Years: Creating Consistent Definitions of Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 6772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas L. Kruse, 1988. "International Trade and the Labor Market Experience of Displaced Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 402-417, April.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
- Matthew S. Goldberg, 1982. "Discrimination, Nepotism, and Long-Run Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 307-319.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:74. 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: (Amy Farber)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.