NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Interruptions

David Neumark

NBER Working Paper No. 4260
Issued in January 1993
NBER Program(s):   LS

The human capital explanation of sex differences in wages is that women intend to work in the labor market more intermittently than men, and therefore invest less. This lower investment leads to lower wages and wage growth. The alternative "feedback" hypothesis consistent with the same facts is that women experience labor market discrimination and respond with career interruptions and specialization in household production. This paper explores the relationship between self-reported discrimination and subsequent labor market interruptions to test this alternative hypothesis, attempting to remove biases associated with using data on self-reported discrimination. The paper provides evidence consistent with the feedback hypothesis. Working women who report experiencing discrimination are significantly more likely subsequently to change employers, and to have additional children (or a first child). On the other hand, women who report experiencing discrimination, and who consequently have a greater tendency for career interruptions of these types, do not subsequently have lower wage growth.

download in pdf format
   (2770 K)

download in djvu format
   (417 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (2770 K) or DjVu (417 K) (Download viewer) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4260

Published: With Michele McLennan, published as "Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Outcomes", IR, Vol. 34, no. 4 (1995): 713-740.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hellerstein, Neumark, and Troske w6321 Market Forces and Sex Discrimination
Goldin w8985 A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings
Carneiro, Heckman, and Masterov w10068 Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Premarket Factors
dillingham, Ferber, and Hamermesh w3789 Sex Discrimination by Sex: Voting in a Professional Society
Korenman and Neumark w3473 Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us