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Explaining the Gender Wage Gap: Estimates from a Dynamic Model of Job Changes and Hours Changes

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  • Liu, Kai

    (University of Cambridge)

Abstract

I address the causes of the gender wage gap with a new dynamic model of wage, hours, and job changes that permits me to decompose the gap into a portion due to gender differences in preferences for hours of work and in constraints. The dynamic model allows the differences in constraints to reflect possible gender differences in job arrival rates, job destruction rates, the mean and variance of the wage offer distribution, and the wage cost of part-time work. The model is estimated using the 1996 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. I find that the preference for part-time work increases with marriage and number of children among women but not among men. These demographic factors explain a sizable fraction of the gender gap in employment, but they explain no more than 6 percent of the gender wage gap. Differences in constraints, mainly in the form of the mean offered wages and rates of job arrival and destruction, explain most of the gender wage gap. Policy simulation results suggest that, relative to reducing the wage cost of part-time work, providing additional employment protection to part-time jobs is more effective in reducing the gender wage gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Kai, 2015. "Explaining the Gender Wage Gap: Estimates from a Dynamic Model of Job Changes and Hours Changes," IZA Discussion Papers 9255, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9255
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kim, Jinyoung & Kim, Seonghoon & Koh, Kanghyock, 2022. "Labor market institutions and the incidence of payroll taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 209(C).
    3. Strittmatter, Anthony & Wunsch, Conny, 2021. "The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter?," Working papers 2021/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    4. Flinn, C. & Todd, P. & Zhang, W., 2020. "Personality Traits, Job Search and the Gender Wage Gap," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2053, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Henriques, C.O. & Luque, M. & Marcenaro-Gutierrez, O.D. & Lopez-Agudo, L.A., 2019. "A multiobjective interval programming model to explore the trade-offs among different aspects of job satisfaction under different scenarios," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 35-46.
    6. Alexander Sohn, 2015. "Beyond Conventional Wage Discrimination Analysis: Assessing Comprehensive Wage Distributions of Males and Females Using Structured Additive Distributional Regression," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 802, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    job mobility; gender gap; part-time work;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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