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Is deindustrialization good for women? Evidence from the United States

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The gender wage gap in the United States narrowed considerably throughout the 1980s and then more slowly in the 1990s. Using a decomposition methodology and US Current Population Survey data, this study investigates the impact of deindustrialization's continuing shift in employment away from manufacturing to services on the US gender wage gap between 1990 and 2001. The study finds that the widening of the gender wage gap in the service sector caused a slowdown in the narrowing of the US gender wage gap. Within the service sector, two occupational elements affected the growing gender wage gap: women's entry into traditionally male occupations characterized by high wages and high gender wage differentials that resulted in the relative increase in men's wages compared to women's wages in these occupations.
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Keywords: Gender wage gap; JEL Codes: J16, J31, L80; decomposition techniques; deindustrialization; service sector

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Economics Department, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, USA

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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