Convergences in Men's and Women's Life Patterns: Lifetime Work, Lifetime Earnings, and Human Capital Investment

42 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2014

See all articles by Joyce P. Jacobsen

Joyce P. Jacobsen

Wesleyan University - Department of Economics

Melanie Khamis

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mutlu Yuksel

Dalhousie University; IZA

Abstract

The changes in women and men's work lives have been considerable in recent decades. Yet much of the recent research on gender differences in employment and earnings has been of a more snapshot nature rather than taking a longer comparative look at evolving patterns. In this paper, we use 50 years (1964-2013) of US Census Annual Demographic Files (March Current Population Survey) to track the changing returns to human capital (measured as both educational attainment and potential work experience), estimating comparable earnings equations by gender at each point in time.We consider the effects of sample selection over time for both women and men and show the rising effect of selection for women in recent years. Returns to education diverge for women and men over this period in the selection-adjusted results but converge in the OLS results, while returns to potential experience converge in both sets of results. We also create annual calculations of synthetic lifetime labor force participation, hours, and earnings that indicate convergence by gender in worklife patterns, but less convergence in recent years in lifetime earnings. Thus, while some convergence has indeed occurred, the underlying mechanisms causing convergence differ for women and men, reflecting continued fundamental differences in women's and men's life experiences.

Keywords: gender earnings gap, lifetime work, lifetime earnings, human capital investment

JEL Classification: J3, J16, J24, N3

Suggested Citation

Jacobsen, Joyce P. and Khamis, Melanie and Yuksel, Mutlu, Convergences in Men's and Women's Life Patterns: Lifetime Work, Lifetime Earnings, and Human Capital Investment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8425, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2492452

Joyce P. Jacobsen (Contact Author)

Wesleyan University - Department of Economics ( email )

238 Church Street
Middletown, CT 06459-0007
United States

Melanie Khamis

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mutlu Yuksel

Dalhousie University ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://myweb.dal.ca/mt899590/

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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