Research

Working Papers

October 2021
"Are We There? The Search for Amenities and the Early Career Gender Wage Gap" (Job Market Paper)

I study the contribution of search frictions, preferences for amenities (flexibility and parental leave), and wage offers to the early career gender pay gap among US college graduates. Using data from the NLSY97, I document that highly educated Millennial women earn $1.80 less than men, per hour, by five years since labor market entry, irrespective of their marital and parental status, largely due to gender-differences in wage gains from job changes. Motivated by this evidence, I estimate a structural model that allows to disentangle the impact of the main determinants of returns to job changes, that is, search frictions, preferences for amenities, and wage offers on the pay gap. I find that young men and women share similar preferences for amenities. Compared to men, however, women are offered lower wages, and predominantly so in jobs that provide benefits. Since these jobs typically offer higher wages too, the gender pay gap expands as workers climb the job ladder to enter employment relationships that offer better wage-benefits bundles. The higher price that women pay for amenities explains 42% of the early-career growth in the wage gap in the model. The remaining portion is explained by the lower wages offered to women in jobs that do not provide benefits (25%) and by women’s stronger search frictions (33%).

Work in Progress

July 2021
“The Underworked American? Explaining Long Run Trends in Overtime Work”

In this project I document that, following their well-known increase in the 1980s and 1990s, weekly work hours and the share of salaried employees working long hours steadily declined in the U.S. in the 2000s and 2010s. The trend reversal in the incidence of long workweeks is quantitatively strong. As a matter of fact, I show that the share of salaried employees working more than 48 hours per week was as high in 2018 as it was at the beginning of the 1980s. Specifically, around 32% of salaried employees worked more than 48 hours per week in 1982 and in 2018. The share had peaked at 42% in the mid of the 1990s. The main scope of this project is to explain the reversal in the overtime work trend that I observe in the data. In particular, first, I document in detail the main characteristics of the increase and decrease in the incidence of long workweeks. The results of my investigation, using CPS-ORG and PSID data, show that the overall reversal in the share of employees working long hours was mostly determined by the same categories of workers who experienced an increase in long hours in the 1980s and 1990s: relatively young workers in high-pay professional jobs. As a second step, I show that the main explanation that the literature provided to rationalize the rising incidence of long hours at the end of the 20th century, the ``inequality-hours hypothesis" has counterfactual implications that cannot explain the reversal in the work-hours trend.