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Blau and Kahn Summary (2000) - Gender Differences in Pay

Economics (Arts)
Course Code
ECON 426
Sonya Laszlo

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Daniel S. Goh (McGill ID: 260305028)
ECON 426, Article Summary
23 November 2011
Title: Gender Differences in Pay
Authors: Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn
Source: The Journal of Economic Perspectives
Date: June 2000
Keywords: Gender discrimination
Main hypotheses/questions:
A review article that analyzes the extent of, and sources of, gender differences in
pay, and comparisons of the US with other countries
Main results:
There are many factors that account for gender differences pay:
o Differences in labor market treatment
o Differences in qualifications
o Employment in different sectors
o Wage structure
The gender pay gap will continue to decrease; however, the discrimination that is
currently present will continue to affect them.
Literature review:
There is considerable review with regards to differences in employment and
wages following educational attainment (Flyer and Rosen, 1994; Wood et al.,
1993; Weinberger, 1998) and job advancement.
There is also considerable review in the distribution of female employment in
different industries (Blau, 1977; Groshen, 1991; Bayard et al., 1999; Berman et
al., 1994; Blau and Kahn, 1997) and the impact of household and family decisions
(Waldfogel, 1998).
There is significant review on studies that suggest sources of discrimination as
well (Becker, 1957; Aigner and Cain, 1977; Hellerstein et al., 1997; Black and
Strahan, 1999) and their consequences (Bergmann, 1974).
Frontier: Gender discrimination in the US and international comparisons.
Includes numerous data sources such as Census Bureau data, Population Reports; U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); OECD data; International Social Survey Programme
(ISSP) microdata.
More detailed hypotheses/facts/results/comments:
Ratio of wages of men to women remained relatively constant from late 1950s to
1980s at around 60%. However, this ratio has increased to mid-70% in the 1990s
and has remained constant since.
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