Pay Secrecy and the Gender Wage Gap in the United States

20 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015

See all articles by Marlene Kim

Marlene Kim

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

Legislators and advocates claim that pay secrecy perpetuates the gender wage gap and that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should be amended to outlaw these practices. Using a difference‐in‐differences fixed‐effects human‐capital wage regression, I find that women with higher education levels who live in states that have outlawed pay secrecy have higher earnings, and that the wage gap is consequently reduced. State bans on pay secrecy and federal legislation to amend the FLSA to allow workers to share information about their wages may improve the gender wage gap, especially among women with college or graduate degrees.

Suggested Citation

Kim, Marlene, Pay Secrecy and the Gender Wage Gap in the United States (October 2015). Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 54, Issue 4, pp. 648-667, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2660535 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irel.12109

Marlene Kim (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics ( email )

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