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Author: Horton-Mann, Carol Gail
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1. Horton-Mann, Carol Gail
Relative Wages of Men and Women Over Business Cycles and Over Time
Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington State University, 1984
Cohort(s): Young Men, Young Women
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Business Cycles; Discrimination; Discrimination, Sex; Earnings; Rural Areas; Wage Gap; Wages, Reservation

The purpose of the study is to empirically determine whether the wage gap between men and women varies over time or with the level of macroeconomic activity. Six theories of the wage gap are considered and it is demonstrated that each explanation implies different cyclical and time trends. The data utilized are from the NLS of Young Men, 1967-76, and Young Women, 1969-78. A system consisting of an offered wage equation and a reservation wage equation is estimated separately from men and women by weighted two stage least squares with a selectivity bias correction and an autocorrelation correction. A heteroscedastic-robust variance estimator is used to obtain consistent standard errors. Results show that the gap in offered wages is greatest in the South, in rural areas, and among unionized employees. Differences in average characteristics between men and women, including occupation and measures of productivity, account for less than one-third of the gap in offered wages. The remaining portion is due primarily to a lower constant term for women than for men, indicating that the offered wage curve for female labor is to the left of the offered wage curve for male labor. Returns to the productivity variables are higher for women than men. An interesting finding is that the gap in reservation wages exceeds the gap in offered wages. Economic activity does not affect the offered wages or reservation wages of women relative to men. The gap in both offered wages and reservation wages narrowed over this time period. Of the six theories analyzed, these results best support Becker's theory of discrimination.
Bibliography Citation
Horton-Mann, Carol Gail. Relative Wages of Men and Women Over Business Cycles and Over Time. Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington State University, 1984.