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
Date Written: February 1, 2019
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
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