Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jessamyn Schaller

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After much progress during the late 1900s, the gender pay gap has hardly closed in the last two decades. As policy makers look for new solutions, many governing bodies have turned to pay transparency laws, which make employee salaries transparent to employees. There have been several international studies on this topic, and almost all found that these laws are very effective in decreasing the pay gap. This research is extremely important, as it suggests that these policies push us further towards equality, and makes gender based discrimination less common in the workplace. In my study, I conduct a difference in differences study and a fixed effects regression analysis using data from the Consumer Population Survey. I find positive effects of pay transparency laws on women’s relative wages. I find a 7% difference in the gender wage gap, controlling for observable characteristics in Colorado (which has pay transparency) and Washington (which does not have pay transparency), after Colorado passed their law in 2021. Using an interaction term, the fixed effects regression model suggests that being a woman in a state with a pay transparency law increases wages around 8.57%. Both these results demonstrate that the pay transparency laws are an important tool to be used to close the gender wage gap.