The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries

Posted: 18 Nov 2016

See all articles by Claudia Olivetti

Claudia Olivetti

Boston College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Barbara Petrongolo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: October 2016

Abstract

Women in developed economies have made major advancements in labor markets throughout the past century, but remaining gender differences in pay and employment seem remarkably persistent. This article documents long-run trends in female employment, working hours, and relative wages for a wide cross section of developed economies. It reviews existing work on the factors driving gender convergence, and novel perspectives on remaining gender gaps. Finally, the article emphasizes the interplay between gender trends and the evolution of the industry structure. Based on a shift-share decomposition, it shows that the growth in the service share can explain at least half of the overall variation in female hours, both over time and across countries.

Suggested Citation

Olivetti, Claudia and Petrongolo, Barbara, The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries (October 2016). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 8, pp. 405-434, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2870856 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-080614-115329

Claudia Olivetti (Contact Author)

Boston College ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Barbara Petrongolo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 7799 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 7595 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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