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Have Changing Family Demographics Narrowed the Gender Wage Gap? External seminar

In the United States, the gender pay gap has narrowed considerably since 1980. Scholars investigating this trend have shown that it can be partially explained by women’s relative gains in human capital, yet much of the trend remains unexplained. We propose that changing family life provides an additional and complementary mechanism for gender wage convergence. For example, gender disparities in pay tend to be larger among those who are married and who are parents, relative to their unmarried and childless peers, suggesting that recent declines in marriage and fertility will narrow the gender pay gap. We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and decompose the change in the gender wage gap between 1980 and 2016. We show that changing American family life can explain a portion of women’s relative wage gains, above and beyond changes in human capital.

Presented by

Alexandra Killewald (Harvard University)

Date & time

23 Jun 2021, 16:00


Zoom link for online meeting: Please note that this event is open to everyone, but those who are not members of University of Essex need to register by simply sending their names to

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