IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is Discrimination Against Women Really Declining? The Puzzle of Survey Reports


  • Heather Antecol

    (McMaster University)

  • Peter Kuhn

    (McMaster University)


This paper seeks to explain why young women are much more likely to report being harmed by gender discrimination than older women. Using a recent sample of job seekers, we conclude that the answer does not lie in higher "objective" discrimination, as usually measured by economists, since measured discrimination is not higher against young women on any dimension we can measure. Because young women are also more likely to report that they were the beneficiaries of labor market discrimination than older women, and because young men are more likely than older men to report that they were harmed by discrimination, we conclude that the answer is also unlikely to lie in a higher overall level of unmeasured discrimination against young women. Using a formal model of the reporting decision, we conclude that the most likely cause of young women's higher reports is a difference in reporting behavior between young and old workers of both sexes: young workers are more willing to interpret departures in either direction from gender-neutral treatment as discriminatory than older workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn, "undated". "Is Discrimination Against Women Really Declining? The Puzzle of Survey Reports," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 07, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:07

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1997. "Age Discrimination, Job Separations, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 779-811.
    2. David N. Laband & Bernard F. Lentz, 1998. "The Effects of Sexual Harassment on Job Satisfaction, Earnings, and Turnover among Female Lawyers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 594-607, July.
    3. David N. Laband & DBernard F. Lentz, 1993. "Is There Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession? Further Evidence on Tangible and Intangible Margins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 230-258.
    4. Johnson, George & Solon, Gary, 1986. "Estimates of the Direct Effects of Comparable Worth Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1117-1125, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.