Gender differences in wages and job turnover among continuously employed workers Academic Article uri icon


  • The labor force participation rate of American women has risen steadily since World War II. This may reflect an increase in the number of women entering the labor force to pursue "spotty' careers, a rise in the number of continuously employed women, or both. The distinction is important, for women in the latter group are likely to invest more intensively in human capital during their early careers, and they may also engage in "job shopping'. As a result, they should receive more wage growth and end up with longer jobs than their irregularly employed counterparts. In fact, these women may have careers that are indistinguishable from those of men. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a significant number of women work continuously during their early careers, which women are likely to do so, and how these women compare to men in terms of their interfirm mobility and earnings. The data are from the young men and young women cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience (NLS). All respondents were between ages 14 and 24 when the surveys began. Although the women were followed from 1968 to 1985, and the men from 1966 to 1981, we restrict ourselves to the postschool portion of each respondent's panel. Our sample consists of 4490 women and 4600 men. -from Authors

published proceedings

  • American Economic Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Light, A., & Ureta, M

complete list of authors

  • Light, A||Ureta, M

publication date

  • January 1990