The gender wage gap – due to differences in efficiency wage effects or discrimination?
Women often receive lower wages than men for comparable work. Many explanations are offered for this fact, ranging from women’s lower negotiation skills to discrimination by employers. In this paper, an experiment, which was originally conceptualized to test efficiency-wage theory, has been applied to test whether women get paid less than men in an experimental market, and if this is the case, why. The experiment is a variant of Fehr & Falk’s (1999) double auction with effort. Results are striking: Female workers receive significantly lower wages than male workers, no matter whether men or women are in the role of the firm. However, this does not pay for the firms, as women’s reactions to low wages are equal to those of men: low effort. More specifically, a high discrepancy between the wage asked by a worker and the wage offered by the firm leads to low effort. Extrapolating from the experiment to the “real” labor market, the results are pointing towards a vicious cycle: Women are offered lower wages than they expect, and consequentially they exhibit low effort levels. Therefore, employers who do not realize that women – just like men – reciprocate might regard their productivity as lower.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht|
Phone: +31 (0)43 38 83 830
Web page: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1980. "Sex Differences in Worker Quitting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 388-398, August.
- Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000.
"Gender Differences in Pay,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
- Christoph Meng, 2002. "(Fe)male jobs and (fe)male wages: disentangling the effect of personal and job characteristics on wages by measuring stereotypes," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 45(2), pages 143-167.
- Lawrence F. Katz, 1986.
"Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation,"
in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Deborah Anderson & David Shapiro, 1996. "Racial Differences in Access to High-Paying Jobs and the Wage Gap between Black and White Women," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(2), pages 273-286, January.
- Haagsma, Rein, 1993. "Is statistical discrimination socially efficient?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-50, January.
- Francine D. Blau & Marianne A. Ferber, 1991.
"Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 581-607.
- Francine D. Blau, 1990. "Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 3445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999.
"Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
- Walters, Amy E. & Stuhlmacher, Alice F. & Meyer, Lia L., 1998. "Gender and Negotiator Competitiveness: A Meta-analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-29, October.
- Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "Panel Estimates of Male and Female Job Turnover Behavior: Can Female Nonquitters Be Identified?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 156-181, April.
- Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1981. "Race and Sex Differences in Quits by Young Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 563-577, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2003046. 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: (Leonne Portz)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.