Information and the Persistence of the Gender Wage Gap; Early Evidence from California's Salary History Ban

78 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2018 Last revised: 20 Apr 2020

See all articles by Benjamin Hansen

Benjamin Hansen

University of Oregon - Department of Economics; NBER; IZA

Drew McNichols

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: February 1, 2019

Abstract

Aiming to reduce the gender wage gap, several states and cities have recently adopted legislation that prohibits employers from asking about previously earned salaries. The advocates of these salary history bans (SHBs) have suggested pay history perpetuates past discrimination. We study the early net impact of the first state-wide SHBs. Using both difference-in-difference and synthetic control approaches, we find the gender earnings ratio increased by 1 percent in states with SHBs. We find these population wide increases are driven by an increase of the gender earnings ratio for households with all children over 5 years old, by workers over 35, and are principally driven by those who have recently switched jobs.

JEL Classification: J31, J71, J72, K31

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Benjamin and McNichols, Drew, Information and the Persistence of the Gender Wage Gap; Early Evidence from California's Salary History Ban (February 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3277664

Benjamin Hansen

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

1285 University of ORegon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA ( email )

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

Drew McNichols (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States
5415564953 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.drewmcnichols.com/

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