The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data

53 Pages Posted: 8 May 2017

See all articles by Erling Barth

Erling Barth

Institute for Social Research, Norway; Department of Economics, University of Oslo; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sari Pekkala Kerr

Wellesley College

Claudia Olivetti

Boston College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2017

Abstract

Despite dramatic workforce gains by women in recent decades, a substantial gender earnings gap persists and widens over the course of men’s and women’s careers. Since there are earnings differences across establishments, a key question is the extent to which the widening of the gender pay gap over time arises from differences in career advances within the same establishment versus differential gains from job-to-job moves across establishments. Using a unique match between the 2000 Decennial Census of the United States and the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) data, we find that both channels are important and affect workers differently by education. For the college-educated the increasing gap is for the most part due to differential earnings growth within establishment. The between-establishment component explains only 27 percent of the widening of the total gender pay gap for this group. For workers without college degree, the establishment component is the main driver of the, relatively small, widening of the gender earnings gap. For both education groups, marriage plays a crucial role in the establishment component of the increasing earnings gap.

Suggested Citation

Barth, Erling and Kerr, Sari Pekkala and Olivetti, Claudia, The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data (May 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23381. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964677

Erling Barth (Contact Author)

Institute for Social Research, Norway ( email )

Munthesgate 31
0260 Oslo
Norway

Department of Economics, University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Sari Pekkala Kerr

Wellesley College ( email )

Claudia Olivetti

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

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