Geography, Joint Choices and the Reproduction of Gender Inequality
Yale School of Management
Michael S. Dahl
University of Aarhus - School of Business and Social Sciences
May 22, 2013
We examine the extent to which the gender wage gap stems from dual-earner couples jointly choosing where to live. If couples locate in places better suited for the man’s employment than for the woman’s, the resulting mismatch of women to employers will depress women’s wages. Examining data from Denmark, our analyses indicate (i) that Danish couples chose locations with higher expected wages for the man than for the woman, (ii) that the better matching of men in couples to local employers could account for up to 36% of the gender wage gap, and (iii) that the greatest asymmetry in the apparent importance of the man’s versus the woman’s potential earnings occurred among couples with pre-school age children and where the male partner had parents with unequal earnings (both implicating traditional general roles as a cause).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Date posted: December 6, 2011 ; Last revised: June 1, 2013
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