Lecture #6 – Gender Wage Gap 6/7/2011 6:56:00 AM
Major Contributors and Assessing Gender Wage Bias
Component of gender inequality
How we measure is very important
Sex segregation leads to wage gap
Left side: male and female segregation in jobs
Right side: median weekly earning for those jobs. Female
dominated jobs come with low wages
A. Major Contributors:
B. Identifying the Effects of Gender
2 different measures
2 measures lead to different outcomes. Earnings usually seen in
media – shows larger difference.
o It is because males work more hours and more weeks.
o Denominator i.e. hourly – a more pure measure
Wage gap today: 72 cents of dollars – 72%
Chart: the more education you have, the more you make.
o FYFT – full year full time
o At every education level there is a big gap – 70%
o Human capital model doesn’t address why men make more.
Zhang – motherhood penalty: cost of motherhood is the highest
among mothers with education – mothers vs. non-mothers = huge
problem. At highest status of jobs – giving birth = labour market
interruptions = biggest burn.
what is relation between sex segregation and wages?
Red=smaller gaps, Blue = larger gaps.
In broad categories i.e. health care – feminized nature of nursing
and doctor – huge gap. Comparing doctors to doctors also, they
make less. Field of study in doctors – there is a filtering and 4% variance in income. Supply side: we are choosing it. But when
comparing same job, same education – there is still a diff.
Occupations aggregate – nursing pulls wages down.
Service: women are in lower range – sell less quality items i.e.
Gunderson: looked in same firm, same human capital in the same
job – comparing apples to apples. There should be no difference but
controlling all these variables, only 90-95% variance was explained.
5-10% is unexplained, only difference is gender.
Roth: ethnography – looked at security professionals on wallstreet
– looked at dynamics between men and women. This is a service
job – macho environment – language of war, competitive. When
talking about dynamic environments – women made 29% less. 2
o 1) Occupational norms - performance evaluations that are
not formalized because job is dynamic so there is a lot of
o 2) Client-based occupation – a lot of client interactions
happen outside work place in male environments – i.e. strip
club, hunting. So you have problems interacting clients.
Women have started golfing. Informal networking system –
not there making connections, effects your pay.
Could be part of unexplained variance
3. Martial Status – and age
Table: earnings gap - % of what women make.
Single, vs. married vs. divorce
Single women should make the closest earnings to men because
they are more like men – they are non-mothers, not married. They
are similar to the ideal worker. This is true.
o Single women in all categories are making 87%. Married
women make less.
o 25-34 category – huge gap – childbearing age. They would
argue because of labour market interruption – they will have less experience. How much does that explain. Also male
employer will assume she will leave and not get a promotion.
Zhang - hourly earnings, controlled for age. CA moms make 12%
less than non-mothers.
o Get more bang for your buck without kids
o Gap increases with number of kids – 9% -1, 12% -2, 20% 3.
Economists argue: Because they are spending less time
in labour market BUT they already controlled for this.
Childhood penalty or motherhood cost: status
characteristics theory: motherhood in labour market
acts like a status characteristics – salient category that
matters in paid work context. Motherhood and on top of
being female – so far from ideal worker with external
commitment and have a female body.
4. Experience?Tenure/ and Hours Worked
Tenure – how long you’ve been doing that labour
Job tenure – how long you’ve been at that place
Across age groups – length in labour market – loss is huge. Women
are making 90-95%. Gap keeps on widening. Gender pay gap gets
wider, job tenure gets larger because it picks up in interruptions.
Longer your labour market experience as women – the more likely
you are to have more of a gap. Women are 4 years older than men
that have same years of experience – plays into wages. Get bang
for buck – for continual work – proxy of what a commited worker is
– contruct of what a worker should be. More and more gaps = more
female = less good of a worker.
Hours worked –men work more in overtime shift work – has to do
with wage rate gap – annually there is a larger gap, hourly there is
a smaller one.
o When talking about hourly – a lot of service sector jobs. Look
at industry. Overtime in shift work contributes to how much
you make hourly. Women are not going out for beers but also
less likely to work more hours because you have to go home.
Overtime 1.5-2x more. o Shift work: in manufacturing work – midnight shifts pay 3x
more men in factories. Hard for women to work over night.
Mobility structures are built in but who is available to do
this work? Supply side theories – problematic – who is
actually available in constrained construct.
Everything put together – should add up to 100% of your wages
i.e. tenure, HC
Model 1 – HC, Model 2-location and HC, 4 – allof them
o Total explained: when you add this up, how much is
explained – a lot of it is unexplained. Usually 75%,
o Economists argue that HC model – if you invest in yourself
and put in time etc. they add up to explain how much you
make. Doesn’t bring gender into it. 25% should be
o Sociologists – there is discrimination. Gender and gender
expectations, informal network – all these interactional forces
also play a role. That is why it doesn’t add up. Demand side.
o Economists rebuttal: you are not measuring them well
enough. What are we measuring?
o TEST: KEY CONTRIBUTORS *****
o 1) LABOR MARKET EXPERIENCE AND TENURE – NEED TO BE
WORKING FYFT, STICK WITH EMPLOYER, NO
o 2) sex segregation – occupation, industry, location – indicates
how much money you will make
o 3) duties – decision making power etc. Characteristics of your
actual job. When women move up and take job – have
problem with real authority. They don’t get contr