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The Gender Pay Gap in the US: A Matching Study

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  • Meara, Katie
  • Pastore, Francesco
  • Webster, Allan

Abstract

This study examines the gender wage gap in the US using two separate cross-sections from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The extensive literature on this subject includes papers which use wage decompositions to divide gender wag gaps into “explained” and “unexplained” components. Problems with this approach include the heterogeneity of the sample data. In order to address the difficulties of comparing like with like this study uses a number of different matching techniques to obtain estimates of the gap. By controlling for a wide range of other influences, in effect, we estimate the direct effect of simply being female on wages. However, to form a complete picture, one should consider that gender wages are affected by a number of other factors such as parenthood, gender segregation, part-time working and unionization. This means that it is not just the core “like for like” comparison between male and female wages that matters but also how gender wage differences interact with other relevant risk factors which are more common for women. That these interactions exist has already been discussed in the literature but evidence that precisely or systematically estimates such effects remains scarce. The most innovative contribution of this study is to do that. Our findings imply that the idea of a single uniform gender pay gap is perhaps less useful than an understanding of how gender wages are shaped by multiple different forces.

Suggested Citation

  • Meara, Katie & Pastore, Francesco & Webster, Allan, 2019. "The Gender Pay Gap in the US: A Matching Study," GLO Discussion Paper Series 363, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:363
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    4. Pastore, Francesco & Pompili, Marco, 2022. "An impact assessment of ESF training courses for unemployed in the Province of Bolzano," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1042, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Kaya Ezgi, 2021. "Gender wage gap across the distribution: What is the role of within- and between-firm effects?," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 12(1), pages 1-49, January.
    6. Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2021. "COVID-19: a crisis of the female self-employed," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1141-1187, October.
    7. Daudu Abdulrazaq K. & Kareem Oyedola W. & Olatinwo Latifat K. & Shuaib Suleiman B. & Abdulrahman Abdulganiyu I., 2023. "Does Gender Wage Gap Exist among Farm Workers in Nigeria? Evidence from Decomposition-Matching Analysis," Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 11(1), pages 115-137, October.
    8. Bonaccolto-Töpfer, Marina & Briel, Stephanie, 2022. "The gender pay gap revisited: Does machine learning offer new insights?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    9. Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal & Pastore, Francesco, 2020. "Gender Wage Gap - A Matching Analysis for Three MENA Countries: Egypt, Jordan and Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 13934, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Theresa Hager & Patrick Mellacher & Magdalena Rath, 2023. "Endogenous Heterogeneous Gender Norms and the Distribution of Paid and Unpaid Work in an Intra-Household Bargaining Model," ICAE Working Papers 147, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    11. Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal & Pastore, Francesco, 2022. "A Tale of Parallel Processes of Gender (In-)Equality: How Big Is the Glass Ceilings for MENA Women?," IZA Discussion Papers 15152, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. 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.
    13. Tsakiridis, Andreas & O’Donoghue, Cathal & Ryan, Mary & Cullen, Paula & Ó hUallacháin, Daire & Sheridan, Helen & Stout, Jane, 2022. "Examining the relationship between farmer participation in an agri-environment scheme and the quantity and quality of semi-natural habitats on Irish farms," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    14. Emilio M. Santandreu & Joaquín López Pascual & Salvador Cruz Rambaud, 2020. "Determinants of Repayment among Male and Female Microcredit Clients in the USA. An Approach Based on Managers’ Perceptions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-17, February.
    15. MA, Xinxin & CHENG, Jie, 2023. "The Impact of Trade Unions on the Gender Wage Gap : Evidence from China," Discussion Paper Series 752, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    16. Emanuela Ghignoni & Marilena Giannetti & Vincenzo Salvucci, 2022. "The double "discrimination" of foreign women: A matching comparisons approach," Working Papers in Public Economics 225, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Economics and Law.
    17. Chen, Jie & Pastore, Francesco, 2021. ""Study Hard and Make Progress Every Day": Updates on Returns to Education in China," IZA Discussion Papers 14139, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Monica Fisher & Paul A. Lewin & Ryanne Pilgeram, 2023. "Gender differences in the financial performance of U.S. farm businesses: A decomposition analysis using the Census of Agriculture," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(2), pages 1233-1253, June.
    19. Riccardo Leoncini & Mariele Macaluso & Annalivia Polselli, 2023. "Gender Segregation: Analysis across Sectoral-Dominance in the UK Labour Market," Papers 2303.04539, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2023.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender pay; Current Population Survey; part-time working; gender segregation; unionization; sample selection bias; matching; IPWRA; USA;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law; Animal Rights Law

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