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Explaining the Gender Wage Gap: Estimates from a Dynamic Model of Job Changes and Hours Changes


  • Liu, Kai

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)


I address the causes of the gender wage gap with a new dynamic model of wage, hours, and job changes that permits me to decompose the gap into a portion due to gender differences in preferences for part-time work and in onstraints. The dynamic model allows the differences in constraints to reflect possible gender differences in job arrival rates, job destruction rates, the mean and variance of the wage offer distribution, and the full-time/part-time wage premium. I find that the differences in preferences explain no more than 5% of the gender gap in hourly wages and 7-20% of the gender gap in weekly wages. The differences in constraints, mainly in the form of differences in the mean offered wages, explain the remaining gender wage gap. Most of the gender differences in employment, hours of work and job turnover can be attributed to the differences in preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Kai, 2012. "Explaining the Gender Wage Gap: Estimates from a Dynamic Model of Job Changes and Hours Changes," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 15/2012, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2012_015

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Sohn, 2015. "Beyond Conventional Wage Discrimination Analysis: Assessing Comprehensive Wage Distributions of Males and Females Using Structured Additive Distributional Regression," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 802, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item


    Gender differences; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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