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IFS-STICERD Public Economics Seminar

The careers and wages of women: labour supply, sorting and human capital accumulation

Monica Costa Dias (Institute for Fiscal Studies), joint with Agnes Norris Keiller and Fabien Postel-Vinay

Wednesday 26 June 2019 16:30 - 17:30

This event will take place online.

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars or as online and in person. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.

About this event

The gender pay gap remains high and has ceased to fall over the last decade. Past work has shown that it is closely linked to family formation, widening over the course of life with the arrival of children and the intermittent working patterns that characterise the careers of mothers. We show that such intermittent patterns can only explain between 30 and 60 percent of the opening of the gender pay gap, depending on education attainment. We then inspect the additional hypothesis that that mothers prefer jobs located close to their home in order to minimise commuting time, and that this physically limits their opportunities in the labour market affecting occupational sorting and pay. Using the BHPS-USOC data combined with geographical information and vacancy data, we show evidence supporting this hypothesis and of its consequences for female wage levels and progression. To quantify the long term effects of these career patterns on female wages, we develop and estimate a spatial job search model of occupational sorting allowing for human capital accumulation. The model embeds a fine description of the UK tax and benefit system and is used for policy analysis.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS and STICERD.

IFS-STICERD Public Economics seminars are held on Wednesdays in term time at 16:30-17:30 ONLINE or at 12.30-12.45 IN PERSON at the IFS.

Seminar organisers: Stuart Adam (IFS), Monica Costa Dias (IFS), Xavier Jaravel (LSE), Camille Landais (LSE), Attila Lindner (UCL), Joana Naritomi (LSE), and Johannes Spinnewijn (LSE).

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email:

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This event will take place online.