Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

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Over the past four decades, the gender wage gap among part-time workers was 10-30 percentage points smaller than the gender wage gap among full-time workers. This is a new empirical fact – one that is predicted by the theory that increased labor market flexibility reduces gender wage gaps. We sharpen this prediction by arguing that flexibility that is demanded endogenously, as is the case with pursuing part-time work, reduces gender wage gaps; by contrast flexibility that is supplied exogenously, for example through state-mandated family leave policies, are capitalized into slower wage growth for women when compared to men. Moreover, we show that the latter played a role in the stagnation of women’s wages in the mid 1990’s.