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The Gender Pay Gap: Micro Sources and Macro Consequences

Morchio, Iacopo and Moser, Christian (2018): The Gender Pay Gap: Micro Sources and Macro Consequences.

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We assess the sources and consequences of the gender pay gap using a combination of theory and measurement. We start by documenting three empirical facts. First, women are more likely than men to work at low-paying employers. Second, for women as for men, pay is not the sole determinant of workers' revealed-preference rankings of employers. Third, both pay and the revealed-preference rank differ between women and men within the same employer. To interpret these facts, we develop an empirical equilibrium search model featuring endogenous gender differences in pay, amenities, and recruiting intensities across employers. The estimated model suggests that compensating differentials explain one fifth of the gender gap, that there are significant output and welfare gains from eliminating gender differences, and that an equal-pay policy fails to close the gender pay gap.

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