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The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990s: Slowing Convergence

Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn

No 2176, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Using Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data, we study the slowdown in the convergence of female and male wages in the 1990s compared to the 1980s. We find that changes in human capital did not contribute to the slowdown, since women’s relative human capital improved comparably in the two decades. Occupational upgrading and deunionization had a larger positive effect on women’s relative wages in the 1980s, explaining a portion of the slower 1990s convergence. However, the largest factor was that the “unexplained” gender wage gap fell much faster in the 1980s than the 1990s. Our evidence suggests that changes in labor force selectivity, changes in gender differences in unmeasured characteristics and in labor market discrimination, as well as changes in the favorableness of demand shifts each may have contributed to the slowing convergence of the unexplained gender pay gap.

Keywords: wage differentials; gender pay gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2006-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-lab and nep-ltv
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (109)

Published - published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2006, 60 (1), 45-66

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Related works:
Journal Article: The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: The US Gender Pay Gap in the 1990s: Slowing Convergence (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: The US Gender Pay Gap in the 1990s: Slowing Convergence (2004) Downloads
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