The Gender Pay Gap Beyond Human Capital: Heterogeneity in Noncognitive Skills and in Labor Market Tastes
Journal of Human Resources, Volume 46, Number 4, Winter 2011, pp. 827-874
49 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2013 Last revised: 24 Feb 2014
Date Written: March 27, 2013
Focused on human capital, economists typically explain about half of the gender earnings gap. For a national sample of MBAs, we account for 82 percent of the gap by incorporating noncognitive skills (e.g., confidence and assertiveness) and preferences regarding family, career, and jobs. Those two sources of gender heterogeneity account for a quarter of the "explained" pay gap, with half due to human capital variables and the other quarter due to hours worked and current job characteristics. Female MBAs appear to pay a penalty for "good citizen" behavior (choosing jobs that contribute to society) and characteristics (higher ethical standards).
Keywords: gender, pay differentials, human capital, noncognitive skills, non-monetary benefits, professional labor markets
JEL Classification: J31, J16, J44, J24, J32, D83, D84
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation