Prompted by Amazon’s parody of the gender wage gap and actress Patricia Arquette’s impassioned plea for equal rights for women at the 87th Academy Awards, we—in honor of International Women’s Day—turned to gender expert, Dr. Luca Flabbi, to get the facts about this issue. Was Patricia Arquette right about the gender pay gap? If so, what does that mean? Are women paid less because they have less education and fewer skills than men, because they work at more part-time jobs than men, or is it simply a matter of prejudice?
Dr. Flabbi, a senior economist in the Inter-American Development Bank’s Research Department, specializes in gender differentials and discrimination, wage determinants and intergenerational mobility, and wage and household bargaining. In a working paper he co-authored with Mauricio Tejada, “Gender Gaps in Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the United States: The Impact of Employers’ Prejudice”, Flabbi provides descriptive evidence of gender differentials by education level in the U.S. labor market over the last twenty years. He and Tejada show that prejudice may still play a role in gender differentials, describing at least one scenario where the possibility of prejudiced employers in the labor market has had a substantial impact.
During a brief talk, Dr. Flabbi provides an insight into the gender gap from an economic standpoint and explains why this problem goes beyond even equal rights for women and how it is actually “a global problem in which the entire economy is losing.”