Y. Gallen, UofC - Department Friday Seminar  Add To Calendar

  • Dates: 06 – 06 Oct, 2017
Department Friday Seminar, 11:00am - 12:30pm, UH850

Presenter: Yana Gallen, University of Chicago

Title: The Gender Productivity Gap

Using Danish matched employer-employee data, this paper estimates the relative productivity
of men and women and finds that the gender “productivity gap” is 12 percent—seventy
five percent of the 16 percent residual pay gap can be accounted for by productivity di↵erences
between men and women. I measure the productivity gap by estimating the efficiency
units lost in a firm-level production function if a worker is female, holding other explanatory
covariates such as age, education, experience, and hours worked constant. To study the
mechanisms behind the 4 percent gap in pay that is unexplained by productivity, I use data
on parenthood and age. Mothers are paid much lower wages than men, but their estimated
productivity gap completely explains their pay gap. In contrast, women without children are
estimated to be as productive as men but they are not compensated at the same rate as men.
The decoupling of pay and productivity for women without children happens during their
prime-child bearing years. I provide estimates of the productivity gap in the cross-section
and estimates that account for endogenous sorting of women into less productive firms using
a control-function approach inspired by Olley-Pakes. This paper also provides estimates of
the gender productivity gap across industries and occupations. Though the results do vary
across industries and occupations, the overall estimate of the productivity gap is fairly robust
to the specification of the production function.