Information and the Persistence of the Gender Wage Gap; Early Evidence from California's Salary History Ban
61 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2018 Last revised: 15 May 2019
Date Written: February 1, 2019
Reductions in wage disparities across race and gender have stagnated in the recent decades. Recent popular focus on these inequalities has led to demands for policy interventions to reduce pay gaps. The most recent legislation intended to improve wage equality prohibits employers from asking about previously earned salaries. The intent of this legislation is to redress persistent pay inequalities. Salary history bans (SHBs) have been implemented in varying degrees (public and private) in multiple cities and states. I use a synthetic control approach to measure the impact of a statewide SHB in California. After the passing of a statewide SHB, statewide female-male earnings ratios increased from 0.77 (where they have been stagnant for the last 12 years) to 0.81. Moreover, I find these results are driven by an increase of the earnings ratio in male-dominated industries.
JEL Classification: J7, J78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation