The Gender Pay Gap

35 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2000 Last revised: 28 Jun 2010

See all articles by Francine D. Blau

Francine D. Blau

Cornell University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

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Date Written: July 1996


Empirical research on gender pay gaps has traditionally focused on the role of gender-specific factors, particularly gender differences in qualifications and differences in the treatment of otherwise equally qualified male and female workers (i.e., labor market discrimination). This paper explores the determinants of the gender pay gap and argues for the importance of an additional factor, wage structure, the array of prices set for labor market skills and the rewards received for employment in favored sectors. Drawing on joint work with Lawrence Kahn, I illustrate the impact of wage structure by presenting empirical results analyzing its effect on international differences in the gender gap and trends over time in the gender differential in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

Blau, Francine D., The Gender Pay Gap (July 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5664, Available at SSRN:

Francine D. Blau (Contact Author)

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