Department of Management

Michael S. Dahl

Geography, Joint Choices, and the Reproduction of Gender Inequality

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We examine the extent to which the gender wage gap stems from dual-earner couples jointlychoosing where to live. If couples locate in places better suited for the man’s employment thanfor the woman’s, the resulting mismatch of women to employers will depress women’s wages.Examining data from Denmark, our analyses indicate that (1) Danish couples choose locationswith higher expected wages for the man than for the woman, (2) the better matching of men incouples to local employers could account for up to 36 percent of the gender wage gap, and (3)the greatest asymmetry in the apparent importance of the man’s versus the woman’s potentialearnings occurred among couples with young children and where the male partner accountedfor a larger share of household income before the potential move.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Pages (from-to)900-920
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

    Research areas

  • discrimination, family migration, gender wage gap, sex segregation, work

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