The Changing Nature of Employment-Related Sexual Harassment: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Government (1978-1994)

39 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2002

See all articles by Heather Antecol

Heather Antecol

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2002

Abstract

This paper examines the changing nature of views towards and reports of sexual harassment using unique data drawn from the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (USMSPB) of the U.S. Federal Government over the period from 1978-1994. Our results indicate that while federal government employees reported only slightly more incidents of employment-related unwanted sexual behavior in 1994 than in 1978, the willingness to define unwanted sexual behavior as sexual harassment increased dramatically over this period. The increased willingness of federal government employees to label certain behaviors as sexual harassment does not appear to be driven by changes in the demographic, human capital and job characteristics of federal government employees, rather the changes appear to be due to structural changes in views (conditional on characteristics) of what constitutes sexual harassment. At the same time, more of the change in the incidence of unwanted sexual behavior on the job itself seems to be explained by changes in human capital and job characteristics. Finally, we find that the qualitative nature of harassment in public-sector employment has changed despite the fact that the incidence of unwanted sexual behavior was relatively constant between 1978 and 1994.

Keywords: Sexual Harassment, Public-sector Employment

JEL Classification: J16, J28

Suggested Citation

Antecol, Heather and Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., The Changing Nature of Employment-Related Sexual Harassment: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Government (1978-1994) (October 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 619. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=357240

Heather Antecol

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
102
Abstract Views
1,425
rank
260,171
PlumX Metrics