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Testosterone and the Gender Wage Gap

  • Gielen, Anne C.

    ()

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Holmes, Jessica

    ()

    (Middlebury College)

  • Myers, Caitlin Knowles

    ()

    (Middlebury College)

Testosterone, which induces sexual differentiation of the male fetus, is believed to transfer from males to their littermates in placental mammals. Among humans, individuals with a male twin have been found to exhibit greater masculinization of sexually dimorphic attributes relative to those with a female twin. We therefore regard twinning as a plausible natural experiment to test the link between prenatal exposure to testosterone and labor market earnings. For men, the results suggest positive returns to testosterone exposure. For women, however, the results indicate that prenatal testosterone does not generate higher earnings and may even be associated with modest declines.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7575.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Human Resources
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7575
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  1. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2012. "Gender, Competitiveness and Career Choices," NBER Working Papers 18576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  3. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  4. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  5. Jeffrey A. Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2010. "Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions," NBER Working Papers 16546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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