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Testosterone and the Gender Wage Gap

Author

Listed:
  • Gielen, Anne C.

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Holmes, Jessica

    () (Middlebury College)

  • Myers, Caitlin Knowles

    () (Middlebury College)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gielen, Anne C. & Holmes, Jessica & Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2013. "Testosterone and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 7575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7575
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    4. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    5. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2014. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Career Choices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1409-1447.
    6. 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.
    7. Wayne A. Grove & Andrew Hussey & Michael Jetter, 2011. "The Gender Pay Gap Beyond Human Capital: Heterogeneity in Noncognitive Skills and in Labor Market Tastes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 827-874.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    twins; gender wage gap; testosterone;

    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

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