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Working from home and the gender gap in earnings for self-employed US Millennials

Jessica Simon (Department of Economics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Megan McDonald Way (Department of Economics, Babson College, Babson Park, Massachusetts, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore gender differences in terms of self-employment for US Millennials, relating them to working from home as well as other factors.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a population-based survey, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which allows to compare home-based vs non-home-based self-employed women and men on a wide variety of characteristics. Descriptive analyses reveal the unconditional relationships between the covariates of interest, and the authors use ordinary least squares regression to reveal the conditional correlations between working from home and earnings for both women and men.

Findings

The authors find that working from home is highly negatively correlated with earnings for women, but not for men, and that working from home may trump the other characteristics typically associated with lower earnings.

Research limitations/implications

The regression subsample is relatively small (n = 245), leading to omitted variable bias in the regression. The “working-from-home” variable is potentially endogenous. The small sample size does not allow the authors to use detailed information on the self-employment industry. Future research should focus on finding larger samples and a way to instrument for working from home.

Social implications

Work/life trends and communications technology have made working from home more prevalent (Mateyka et al., 2012). It is important for researchers and policymakers to understand the gendered implications of basing a business at home.

Originality/value

The study is the first to use population-based data to focus specifically on gender gaps in earnings of self-employed Millennials in relation to working from home.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank attendees at the 2014 Diana International Research Conference, Stockholm, for their valuable feedback on a preliminary version of this paper.

Citation

Simon, J. and Way, M.M. (2015), "Working from home and the gender gap in earnings for self-employed US Millennials", Gender in Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 206-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-07-2014-0067

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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