Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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© 2013 Erin J. Olesen

Abstract

Labor economists have persistently observed a “gap” in the earnings of men and women. In this paper, I attempt to offer a partial explanation for the gender wage gap by analyzing the gender wage gap across male-dominated, female-dominated, and gender-neutral occupations. Using data from the Current Population Survey (2010-2012), I perform three Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions across the entire sample. I then perform decompositions across male-dominated, female-dominated, and gender-neutral occupations separately using the first specification. I find that occupations of different gender concentrations (male-dominated, female-dominated, and gender-neutral) have different gender gaps. In particular, male-dominated and gender neutral occupations have a much larger gender wage gap than female-dominated occupations, even after controlling for human capital and demographic variables. Combined with previous research and summary statistics, these results seem to suggest that certain workplace factors that might contribute to a higher gender wage gap, such as workplace inflexibility and gender discrimination, could be higher among male-dominated and gender-neutral occupations than they are among female-dominated occupations; however, further research into the precise characteristics of male-dominated, gender-neutral, and female-dominated occupations is necessary to confirm this analysis.

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