Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men? Analyzing the Search for High-paying Jobs

Source: Wharton, August 29, 2012

“Why do women continue to earn less money than men — approximately 20% less, according to some estimates — and what can be done about it? At least half the pay gap reflects the fact that women tend to work in different kinds of occupations and industries than men, a phenomenon known as “gender segregation.” Understanding the causes of that gender segregation is a key part of any attempt to address the pay differential. Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell and Roxana Barbulescu, a management professor at McGill University in Montreal, set out to understand the causes of gender segregation by taking a different approach than studies that typically look at variances in the kinds of jobs that men and women choose, or at the decisions made by employers during the job application process. Bidwell and Barbulescu opted instead to look at job applicants themselves to determine whether the decisions they make during their job search process have a significant impact on which offer they accept. Their results are presented in a paper titled, Do Women Choose Different Jobs from Men? Mechanisms of Application Segregation in the Market for Managerial Workers, forthcoming in the journal Organization Science.”

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