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Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy

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  • Ngai, L. Rachel

    (London School of Economics)

  • Petrongolo, Barbara

    (University of Oxford)

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of the rise of services in the narrowing of gender gaps in hours and wages in recent decades. We document the between-industry component of the rise in female work for the U.S., and propose a model economy with goods, services and home production, in which women have a comparative advantage in producing market and home services. The rise of services, driven by structural transformation and marketization of home production, acts as a gender-biased demand shift raising women's relative wages and market hours. Quantitatively, the model accounts for an important share of the observed trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngai, L. Rachel & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 8134, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8134
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marketization; structural transformation; gender gaps;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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