An Evaluation of the Gender Earnings Gap Using Survey and Administrative Data

Marta Murray-Close , U.S. Census Bureau
Thomas Foster, U.S. Census Bureau
Liana C. Landivar, Maryland Population Research Center
Mark deWolf, U.S. Census Bureau

On average, women earn about 80 percent of what men earn. Gender differences in characteristics like education, labor-market experience, occupation, and industry explain much of the gender earnings gap, but even after controlling for these differences, most studies find an unexplained and relatively stable residual gap of 4 to 8 percent. The primary objective of this study is to improve estimates of the gender earnings gap by combining survey and administrative data. A major limitation of existing studies is that the large datasets required to effectively analyze occupation and industry lack measures of actual labor-market experience. This study will augment data from the Current Population Survey with measures of labor-market experience constructed from administrative earnings histories. The study will use these linked data to compare estimates of the gender earnings gap based on potential versus actual experience and to better understand the impact of occupation selection on the earnings gap.

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 Presented in Session 115. Gender and Labor Markets