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Information and the Persistence of the Gender Wage Gap: Early Evidence from California's Salary History Ban

Benjamin Hansen () and Drew McNichols

No 27054, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Aiming to reduce the gender wage gap, several states and cities have recently adopted legislation that prohibits employers from asking about previously earned salaries. The advocates of these salary history bans (SHBs) have suggested pay history perpetuates past discrimination. We study the early net impact of the first state-wide SHBs. Using both difference-in-difference and synthetic control approaches, we find the gender earnings ratio increased by 1 percent in states with SHBs. We find these population wide increases are driven by an increase of the gender earnings ratio for households with all children over 5 years old, by workers over 35, and are principally driven by those who have recently switched jobs.

JEL-codes: J16 J3 J31 J42 J48 J58 J7 K0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen and nep-lma
Note: CH LE LS
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