Lawrence M. Kahn

  • Current position:
    Braunstein Family Professor and Professor of Economics, ILR School, Cornell University, USA
  • Research interest:
    International differences in labor market institutions and labor market outcomes such as wage inequality, unemployment, and the gender pay gap; sports labor markets; immigration and the labor market
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    Cornell University, USA, and IZA, Germany
  • Past positions:
    Research Fellow, National Centre for Econometric Research, Australia, 2008; Visiting Fellow, Department of Economics, Princeton University, 2005–2006; Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 1999–2000
  • Qualifications:
    PhD Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1975
  • Personal statement about IZA World of Labor:
    The IZA World of Labor series provides excellent summaries of current research on important policy-related issues. The contributions are both timely and accessible
  • Selected publications:
    • “Female labor supply: Why is the US falling behind?” American Economic Review 103:3 (2013): 251–256 (with F. D. Blau).
    • “Gender, source country characteristics and labor market assimilation among immigrants: 1980-2000.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 93:1 (2011): 43–58 (with F. D. Blau and K. L. Papps).
    • “The impact of employment protection mandates on demographic temporary employment patterns: International microeconomic evidence.” The Economic Journal 117:521 (2007): F333–F356.
    • “Collective bargaining and the interindustry wage structure: International evidence.” Economica 65:260 (1998): 507–534.
    • "International differences in male wage inequality: Institutions versus market forces." Journal of Political Economy 104:4 (1996): 791–837 (with F. D. Blau).
  • Articles

Wage compression and the gender pay gap

Wage-setting institutions narrow the gender pay gap but may reduce employment for some women

April 2015

10.15185/izawol.150 150

by Lawrence M. Kahn Kahn, L

There are large international differences in the gender pay gap. In some developed countries in 2010–2012, women were close to earnings parity with men, while in others large gaps remained. Since women and men have different average levels of education and experience and commonly work in different industries and occupations, multiple factors can influence the gender pay gap. Among them are skill supply and demand, unions, and minimum wages, which influence the economywide wage returns to education, experience, and occupational wage differentials. Systems of wage compression narrow the gender pay gap but may also lower demand for female workers.