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Gender Wage Gaps and Risky vs. Secure Employment: An Experimental Analysis

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  • Jung, Seeun

    (Inha University)

  • Choe, Chung

    (Konkuk University)

  • Oaxaca, Ronald L.

    (University of Arizona)

Abstract

In addition to discrimination, market power, and human capital, gender differences in risk preferences might also contribute to observed gender wage gaps. We conduct laboratory experiments in which subjects choose between a risky (in terms of exposure to unemployment) and a secure job after being assigned in early rounds to both types of jobs. Both jobs involve the same typing task. The risky job adds the element of a known probability that the typing opportunity will not be available in any given period. Subjects were informed of the exogenous risk premium being offered for the risky job. Women were more likely than men to select the secure job, and these job choices accounted for between 40% and 77% of the gender wage gap in the experiments. That women were more risk averse than men was also manifest in the Pratt-Arrow Constant Absolute Risk Aversion parameters estimated from a random utility model adaptation of the mean-variance portfolio model.

Suggested Citation

  • Jung, Seeun & Choe, Chung & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2016. "Gender Wage Gaps and Risky vs. Secure Employment: An Experimental Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 10132, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10132
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Gender Wage Gaps and Risky vs. Secure Employment: An Experimental Analysis
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-08-30 19:57:07
    2. Gender Wage Gaps and Risky vs. Secure Employment: An Experimental Analysis
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-04-09 18:38:06

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    8. Ksenia V. Rozhkova & Natalya Yemelina & Sergey Yu. Roshchin, 2021. "Can Non-Cognitive Skills Explain The Gender Wage Gap In Russia? An Unconditional Quantile Regression Approach," HSE Working papers WP BRP 252/EC/2021, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    occupational choice; gender wage differentials; risk aversion; lab experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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