NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Dean R. Hyslop

Motu Economic and
Public Policy Research Trust
PO Box 24390
Wellington 6142
New Zealand

E-Mail: dean.hyslop@motu.org.nz
Institutional Affiliation: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2018Female Earnings Inequality: The Changing Role of Family Characteristics on the Extensive and Intensive Margins
with David Card: w25387
Although women make up nearly half the U.S. workforce, most studies of earnings inequality focus on men. This is at least in part because of the complexity of modeling both the decision to work (i.e., the extensive margin) and the level of earnings conditional on work (the intensive margin). In this paper we document a series of descriptive facts about female earnings inequality using data for three cohorts in the PSID. We show that inequality in annual earnings of women fell sharply between the late 1960s and the mid-1990s, with a particularly large decline in the extensive margin component. We then fit earnings-generating models that incorporate both intensive- and extensive-margin dynamics to data for the three cohorts. Our models suggest that over 80% of the decline in female earnings ...
 
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