Insiders, Outsiders, and Involuntary Unemployment: Sexual Harassment Exacerbates Gender Inequality
TSE Working Paper No. 16-687
42 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017 Last revised: 25 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 19, 2018
Is labor market gender inequality due to physiological differences, labor market choices, or discrim- ination? Using novel data on all workplace sexual harassment appellate precedent from 1982-2002 and randomly assigned judges, we find that pro-plaintiff sexual harassment precedent reduced gender inequality and spurred the adoption of sexual harassment human resources policies. The effects were comparable to the Equal Employment Opportunity Act’s impact on black employment share, greatest in the heavily-litigated construction industry and where male sexism was highest, and explains one-third of the adoption of sexual harassment human resources policies. Our results are consistent with an insider-outsider theory of involuntary unemployment.
Keywords: gender discrimination, microaggression, trauma, safe spaces, prejudice
JEL Classification: J81, J83, K31, J31, J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation