The Expanding Gender Earnings Gap: Evidence from the LEHD-2000 Census

Professor Claudia Olivetti, Ph.D., Economics Department.

Despite dramatic workforce gains by women in recent decades, a substantial gender earnings gap persists. In The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data (NBER Working Paper No. 23381), Erling Barth, Sari Pekkala Kerr, and Claudia Olivetti find that this gap increases in magnitude over the course of men’s and women’s careers, particularly for those who are married. Their study explores various drivers of both the overall earnings gap and the manner in which it widens over time. Their analysis is based on an observation that there are earnings differences across establishments, and a key question is thus the extent to which the widening of the gender pay gap over time arises from differences in career advances within the same establishment versus differential gains from job-to-job moves across establishments over their careers.