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June 1984, Vol. 107, No. 6
Earnings differences between men
and women: an introductory note
On average, women earn less than two-thirds as much as men. Depending upon which median earnings data set is used, estimates range from 60 to 65 percent, a differential that has persisted at approximately the same level over several decades. Survey data on specific occupations in establishments show a smaller, but nevertheless persistent, gap as well.
What accounts for this earnings gap? Three explanations have been proposed in the literature: (1) differences in the productive or labor market characteristics of men and women, (2) differences in the distribution of men and women among different jobs, and (3) discrimination in the labor market.
This excerpt is from an article published in the June 1984 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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