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The Most Egalitarian of All Professions: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation

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  • Claudia Goldin
  • Lawrence F. Katz

Abstract

Pharmacy has become a female-majority profession that is highly remunerated with a small gender earnings gap and low earnings dispersion relative to other occupations. We sketch a labor market framework based on the theory of equalizing differences to integrate and interpret our empirical findings on earnings, hours of work, and the part-time work wage penalty for pharmacists. Using extensive surveys of pharmacists for 2000, 2004, and 2009 as well as samples from the American Community Surveys and the Current Population Surveys, we explore the gender earnings gap, the penalty to part-time work, labor force persistence, and the demographics of pharmacists relative to other college graduates. We address why the substantial entrance of women into the profession was associated with an increase in their earnings relative to male pharmacists. We conclude that the changing nature of pharmacy employment with the growth of large national pharmacy chains and hospitals and the related decline of independent pharmacies played key roles in the creation of a more family-friendly, female-friendly pharmacy profession. The position of pharmacist is probably the most egalitarian of all U.S. professions today.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2012. "The Most Egalitarian of All Professions: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation," NBER Working Papers 18410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters,in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura C. Blanco, 2016. "Relación entre la segregación de género en las disciplinas de estudio universitarias y el empleo de las personas recién graduadas en Costa Rica," Working Papers 201604, Universidad de Costa Rica, revised Nov 2016.
    2. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer, 2017. "Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3t1fcs7p369, Sciences Po.
    3. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer Zarzuela, 2012. "Gender gaps in performance: Evidence from young lawyers," Economics Working Papers 1300, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2015.
    4. Lucifora, Claudio & Vigani, Daria, 2016. "What If Your Boss Is a Woman? Work Organization, Work-Life Balance and Gender Discrimination at the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 9737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Stevenson, Adam, 2013. "The male–female gap in post-baccalaureate school quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 153-165.
    6. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2016. "Human Capital Investments and Expectations about Career and Family," NBER Working Papers 22543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Asphjell, Magne K. & Hensvik, Lena & Nilsson, J. Peter, 2013. "Businesses, Buddies, and Babies: Fertility and Social Interactions at Work," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2013:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. Chris Ryan, 2016. "The Attitudes of Boys and Girls towards Science and Mathematics as They Progress through School in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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