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Rhetoric in Economic Research: The Case of Gender Wage Differentials

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  • Weichselbaumer, Doris

    (University of Linz)

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    (University of Linz)

Abstract

Scientific rhetoric can have a profound impact on the perception of research; it can also drive and direct further research efforts. What determines whether results are discussed in a neutral or a judgmental way? How precise and convincing must results be so that authors call for significant policy changes? These questions are in general difficult to answer, because rhetoric on the one hand, and content and methodology of the paper on the other, cannot be separated easily. We, therefore, use a unique example to examine this question empirically: the analysis of gender wage differentials. Here, the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition represents a standard research method that compares male and female earnings, holding productivity constant. We analyze close to 200 papers to investigate what drives authors to talk about “discrimination”, whether and when they call for policy activism or when they are more hesitant to do so. Furthermore, we examine whether the rhetoric used really reveals an author's prejudice on the topic which may also be reflected in data selection and thereby his or her findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Weichselbaumer, Doris & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Rhetoric in Economic Research: The Case of Gender Wage Differentials," IZA Discussion Papers 905, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp905
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    Cited by:

    1. Martina Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer & Doris Weichselbaumer, 2008. "Market Orientation and Gender Wage Gaps: an International Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 615-635, November.
    2. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 2005. "A Meta‐Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 479-511, July.
    3. Mary E. Graham & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2008. "Elimination of gender-related employment disparities through statistical process control," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    4. Helmut Hofer & Gerlinde Titelbach & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Alexander Ahammer, 2017. "Wage Discrimination Against Immigrants in Austria?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(2), pages 105-126, June.
    5. Graham, Mary E. & Hotchkiss, Julie L., 2009. "A More Proactive Approach to Addressing Gender-related Employment Disparities in the United States," MPRA Paper 44795, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Theodore M. Mitrakos, 2004. "Education and economic inequalities," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 23, pages 27-46, July.
    7. Evangelia Papapetrou, 2004. "Gender Wage Differentials in Greece," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 23, pages 47-64, July.
    8. Ma del Mar Salinas-Jim鮥z & Marta Rahona-L, 2013. "Gender wage differentials and educational mismatch: an application to the Spanish case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(30), pages 4226-4235, October.
    9. Evangelia Papapetrou, 2008. "Evidence on gender wage differentials in Greece," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 155-166, June.
    10. Theodoros S. Papaspyrou, 2004. "EMU strategies for new Member States: the role of Exchange Rate Mechanism II," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 23, pages 7-25, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage differential; discrimination; rhetoric;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

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