Convergences in Men’s and Women’s Life Patterns: Lifetime Work, Lifetime Earnings, and Human Capital Investment

The authors would like to thank the participants of the IZA Workshop on Gender Convergence in April 2014 and the seminar participants at Middlebury College, Wesleyan University and the IAFFE Annual Conference for helpful comments. The authors also would like to thank the editors Sol Polachek and Kostas Tatsiramos and two anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions on this paper.

aWesleyan University
bWesleyan University and IZA
cDalhousie University and IZA

Gender Convergence in the Labor Market

ISBN: 978-1-78441-456-6, eISBN: 978-1-78441-455-9

ISSN: 0147-9121

Publication date: 29 January 2015

Abstract

The changes in women’s and men’s work lives have been considerable in recent decades. Yet much of the recent research on gender differences in employment and earnings has been of a more snapshot nature rather than taking a longer comparative look at evolving patterns. In this paper, we use 50 years (1964–2013) of US Census Annual Demographic Files (March Current Population Survey) to track the changing returns to human capital (measured as both educational attainment and potential work experience), estimating comparable earnings equations by gender at each point in time. We consider the effects of sample selection over time for both women and men and show the rising effect of selection for women in recent years. Returns to education diverge for women and men over this period in the selection-adjusted results but converge in the OLS results, while returns to potential experience converge in both sets of results. We also create annual calculations of synthetic lifetime labor force participation, hours, and earnings that indicate convergence by gender in worklife patterns, but less convergence in recent years in lifetime earnings. Thus, while some convergence has indeed occurred, the underlying mechanisms causing convergence differ for women and men, reflecting continued fundamental differences in women’s and men’s life experiences.

Keywords

Citation

Jacobsen, J., Khamis, M. and Yuksel, M. (2015), "Convergences in Men’s and Women’s Life Patterns: Lifetime Work, Lifetime Earnings, and Human Capital Investment

The authors would like to thank the participants of the IZA Workshop on Gender Convergence in April 2014 and the seminar participants at Middlebury College, Wesleyan University and the IAFFE Annual Conference for helpful comments. The authors also would like to thank the editors Sol Polachek and Kostas Tatsiramos and two anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions on this paper.

", Gender Convergence in the Labor Market (Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 41), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0147-912120140000041008

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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