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The Narrowing of the U.S. Gender Earnings Gap, 1959-1999: A Cohort-Based Analysis

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  • Weinberger, Catherine

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Kuhn, Peter J.

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract

Using Census and Current Population Survey data spanning 1959 through 1999, we assess the relative contributions of two factors to the decline in the gender wage gap: changes across cohorts in the relative slopes of men's and women's age-earnings profiles, versus changes in relative earnings levels at labor market entry. We find that changes in relative slopes account for about one-third of the narrowing of the gender wage gap over the past 40 years. Under quite general conditions, we argue that this provides an upper bound estimate of the contribution of changes in work experience and other post-school investments (PSIs) to the decline of the gender wage gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Weinberger, Catherine & Kuhn, Peter J., 2006. "The Narrowing of the U.S. Gender Earnings Gap, 1959-1999: A Cohort-Based Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2007, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bjerk, David & Han, Seungjin, 2007. "Assortative marriage and the effects of government homecare subsidy programs on gender wage and participation inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1135-1150, June.
    2. George-Levi Gayle & Limor Golan, "undated". "Estimating a Dynamic Adverse Selection Model: Labor Force Experience and the Changing Gender Earnings Gap 1968-93," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E40, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    3. Solomon W. Polachek & Jun Xiang, 2009. "The Gender Pay Gap across Countries: A Human Capital Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 227, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wages; United States; women; experience;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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