Exploring how Determinants of the Gender Wage Gap in the United States have Changed Women’s Wages over time, Highlighting Changes During the COVID-19 Period
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Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2022 Vikram Chatterjee
Using IPUMS Current Population Survey (CPS) and CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) microdata, new empirical evidence is presented on the changing levels and trends in the gender wage gap from 2009 to 2022, including a COVID-19 specific analysis. Based on the empirical research study performed in this paper, three main conclusions can be identified. First, when controlling for standard wage explanatory variables, the gender wage gap reduced during COVID-19, as women increased their wages by 3.12% relative to men. This is opposed to predictions from Alon et al. (2020) who projected the wage premium for men would rise during COVID-19. Second, we find that the gender wage gap is primarily driven by marital status, followed closely by child status. Married women have the largest wage gap out of the tested factors, with single women having 19% higher wages when controlling for married women, and childless women having 15% higher wages when controlling for women with children of any age. Finally, we see that the growth in the gender wage gap during COVID-19 was primarily caused by child status compared to marital status, as the wage gap fell more for women with no children than for single women. Future research will be proposed for expansions of the empirical study in this paper.
Chatterjee, Vikram, "Exploring how Determinants of the Gender Wage Gap in the United States have Changed Women’s Wages over time, Highlighting Changes During the COVID-19 Period" (2023). CMC Senior Theses. 3193.