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The Gender Unemployment Gap

  • Stefania Albanesi

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York and CEPR)

  • Aysegul Sahin

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

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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File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Albanesi_Sahin_2013_gender-unemployment-gap.pdf
File Function: First version, April, 2013
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Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2013-004.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2013-004
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  1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
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  4. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 3838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, December.
  6. Azmat, Ghazala & Güell, Maia & Manning, Alan, 2004. "Gender Gaps in Unemployment Rates in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4307, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Richard Rogerson & Aysegul Sahin, 2009. "A Three State Model of Worker Flows in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 15251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Maria J. Prados & Stefania Albanesi, 2011. "Inequality and Household Labor Supply," 2011 Meeting Papers 657, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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.
  12. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
  13. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment of Women," NBER Working Papers 3837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael, 1989. "Women in the Labor Market and in the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 9-23, Winter.
  15. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-38, November.
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