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[Infographic] Causes of Gender Wage Gap

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The wage gap between genders has been an ever-present issue in the American workforce. Few researchers dispute that it exists, though the contributing factors (choice of occupation, hours worked, gender discrimination in the workplace, etc.) and what public policy can do about them are hotly debated topics. To get at this question, several recently published manuscripts have decomposed nationally-representative employment and socioeconomic data using an econometric method called the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition.1 This method allows researchers to assess the extent to which each demographic or socioeconomic characteristic contributes to the wage gap. This synthesis summarizes the findings of this research, and presents what has collectively been found regarding the drivers of the wage gap. Our hope is this synthesis helps policymakers and the general public gain a clearer picture regarding what prior research has to say on the causes of the gender wage gap.

1Oaxaca, Ronald. "Male-female wage differentials in urban labor markets." International economic review (1973): 693-709.