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p.p.1-27 U.S. Women’s status in labor market San Francisco State University Economics department Fang-I Chu1 1 Fang-I Chu, Taiwanese, is a master candidate of economics in SFSU. Contact information: (415)202-3123 email: [email protected] Department of Economics San Francisco State University 1600 Holloway Avenue San Francisco, CA 94132-4028 -1- p.p.1-27 U.S Women’s status in labor market Fang-I Chu I、 Introduction The issue of gender inequality has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Received literature has addressed gender issue in many different ways to examine how gender inequality has evolved over time. Issues such as women’s educational opportunities, discrimination against women in the labor market are examples. Out of a long list of gender issues, I find the issue of gender pay gap is one of the most interesting ones and is worth further investigation. -2- p.p.1-27 As the labor market becomes more diverse, it becomes more and more open to people with diverse background, skills, and expertise. In the past, job contents used to be restricted by gender, causing occupational segregation. The term ”gender pay gap’’ refers to differential treatment towards gender in actual pay, inequality in labor force participation between sexes, and uneven distribution of male or female workers in different industries. In this paper, I look at the historical data to investigate the trend in gender pay gap since the eighties. It is believed that there was a steady upstream trend for narrowing gender pay gap since the early eighties. Analyzing the possible factors that have caused this upstream is an important exercise. I also look at the occupational segregation - another big issue in gender pay gap. In some senses, the different school contents that different gender received would probably affect this occupational segregation indirectly. I will analyze the relation between the occupational segregation and the school contents in detail, too. Furthermore, the term “glass ceiling” leads me to investigate the current status of female in top-level managerial job compared to that in past. Additionally, I would like to see how the trend of the gender pay gap in the United State was different from that of international level. -3- p.p.1-27 II、 From historical trend in gender pay gap 2.1 Brief review The United States government data indicates that the gender earning ratio stayed constant at about 60 percent from the late 1950s to about 1980s, and then the ratio began to increase in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The female-male ratio of median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salaried workers was 62.4% in 1967 and 1979, rose to 74.0% in 1991. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1980,1992) We observe from the above figures about a significant trend in narrowing female-male pay gap during 1980s. The above figures depicts two dramatic developments in US labor market, during the eighties: one being a falling female-male pay gap, the other being a rising level of labor market inequality. A rising level of labor market inequality is said to adversely affect the upstream trend during this period. Thus, we could say that the rising inequality did weaken the force that contributed to the narrowing down gender pay gap. We talk about this weakening factor in more detail in the following section. The sources of changes in the gender pay gap can be decomposed into two components: (1) Gender-specific factors. (2) Wage structure. The effects of the favorable gender specific factors were greater than those of the -4- p.p.1-27 unfavorable ones. Therefore we could probably conclude that these excess positive effects partially brought us the narrower gender pay gap during 1980s, which is seen as the upstream power in the 1980s. We elaborate on the effects of gender specific factors in the following section. The overall wage structure constituted an important part of effects on gender differential. The wage structure here indicates the price sets for various labor market skills and rents received for employment. The wage structure effects are discussed further in the next section. 2.2 Analyzing the possible factors of changing trend We are trying to answer the question that how the decrease in gender gap came about under the adverse effects of wage structure during 1980s. The rising level of wage inequality hampered the decrease of gender pay gap, however, there were some other factors that exerted even greater positive effects in narrowing down the gap. We first look at the effects from the gender-specific factors. Gender-specific factors include women’s relative levels of labor market qualifications and discrimination. Women’s relative levels of labor market qualifications basically mean that the women’s relative skills, actual labor market experience, the quality of women’s education and experience, and the continued decline in occupational segregation. -5- p.p.1-27 The rising rewards to skill or experience did cause negative effects on the upstream in the 1980s. Since women tend to have less skill (experience) than men in general, as the returns to skills (experience) increases, intuitively this increase will widen the gender pay gap. Also, increasing wage inequality, which is caused by rising prices of labor market skills due to increase demand for skills (measured and unmeasured) accounts for the negative effect partially. This increased demand for skills was triggered by technological progression, which in turn, reduced the relative demand for unskilled labor. Female population accounts for majority of unskilled labor forces. Although, as mentioned, there were adverse effects, we could also find some positive factors to give greater effects on gender pay gap. Women’s skill, experience, and education improved sufficiently to offset the negative effect caused by the changing wage structure. The continued decline in occupational segregation, better treatment of women and the government’s efforts to reduce discrimination in labor market in the 1960s/1970s also contributed to the positive effects in 1980s upstream. Moreover, we could see three solid evidences that the rising skill prices did have different effect on men and women: First, between 1979 and 1987, shifts in demand across industry-occupation cells favored women over men for lower educational level, that is below college degree, -6- p.p.1-27 but men over women for higher educational level, that is college degree or above college (Katz and Murphy ,1992). Second, shifts in industrial representation, like the decline in durable goods manufacturing, favored women’s relative pay, as it had opposite effect from the decline in union converge (Sorenesen 1991; Blau and Kahn 1992a; O’Neill and Polachek 1993) Third, the supply of high-skilled women grew faster than that of low-skilled women between 1972 and 1990 (Topel, 1994). Topel’s result, combined with Katz and Murphy’s (1992) findings on the demand for high skilled men versus women, suggest that the combined effect of supply and demand may have changed the effects on high skilled women. We named this effect from supply and demand as “gender twist”. This “gender twist” affects the relative return of women in different skill group in two ways: First, shifts in final demand could alter the industrial composition of employment. Specifically, this would result in some sectors paying higher wages than others for similarly qualified workers.1 Second, from the above, we know that shifts in final demand alter the overall demand relative to supply for gender skill groups. Thus, we could expect a change in relative wages in all sectors. Therefore, a more favorable gender effect for -7- p.p.1-27 lower-skilled women would also be consistent with more favorable relative net supply shifts for lower-skilled women than high-skilled women. Other factors, in addition to relative supply or demand changes, potentially affect the rate of convergence of the gender gap within skills groups, including the improvement of relative skills (i.e., human capital), and increases in the price of skills, measured and unmeasured. Therefore, it shall be important to address out the effects of personal characteristics and prices at different parts of the skill distribution for evaluating the effect of the gender twist.. 2.3 what we learned from this upstream trend From what we analyzed above, we could conclude that rising wage inequality and higher returns to skills did retard women’s progress during the 1980s. However, the decrease in gender pay gap showed in the 80s can be traced to “gender-specific” factors, such as improvement in experience and education. Also, we could conclude an improvement in women’s unmeasured labor market skills and a decline in discrimination against females in labor market as a reflection of a decline in the unexplained gap. We find that the decline in the unexplained gender gap could be the most influential factors that contributed to the upstream during the 1980s. For “gender twist”, we find that rising supply of women implied that supply shifts were larger than demand shifts, that is, the net supply shift damaged the -8- p.p.1-27 women’s overall progress. More, the skill prices changed in the same way, and the results show that demand changes favored women over men at low-skill and middle-skill levels but it favored men over women at high-skill levels. Further, returns for low-skilled women would have been greater had the minimum wage not declined in real value over this period. In addition, after controlling all other factors, the decline in the unexplained pay gap was largest for low-skilled women. This is another finding consistent with the gender twist. III、 Inside the occupational segregation between genders 3.1 overview: about the sex-based occupational segregation The occupational segregation has been considered an important cause of women’s lower earning by social scientists.2 Many literatures studied about this form social differentiation: whether occupational segregation is necessarily coterminous with occupational gender inequality. Thus, we shall concern about this sex-based occupation segregation factor into our research and see how it related to gender pay gap. I would like to bring into the school content for difference genders to examine how this segregation happened in following section. After we look closer the potential factors lead to the occupation segregation, we like to summarize how much we could 2 “Separating groups into different places and different roles makes it easier to treat them unequally and it implies that treating them differently is acceptable.”(Reskin and Padovic,1994) -9- p.p.1-27 conclude this occupation segregation into the cause of gender pay inequality. 3.2 from school content of gender to male-female pay gap Sex-based differences in quantity of schooling explain only tiny part of the gender pay gap, since the average year of schooling between genders is very similar. (Blinder 1973;Oaxaca 1973;Treiman and Hartmann 1981;Marini 1989;Corcoran and Duncan 1979) . Therefore, we consider that the differences in the content of schooling may be a more important factor to explain the gender pay gap. (Polachek 1978;Eccles and Hoffman 1984;Corcoran and Courant 1989;Marini 1989;Gunderson 1989) 3.2.1 Distribution of degrees among different genders In 1968, women account for 8.7% of business degrees, .6% of engineering degrees, 13.6% of physical science degrees and 37.1% of mathematics degrees,75.9% of education degrees,77.8% of health professions degrees, and 97.3% home economics degrees.(U.S. National Center for Education Statistics) The distribution of degrees among different genders had changed by 1991. In 1991, women account for 47.2% of business degrees, 15.4% of engineering degrees, 31.5% of physical science degrees and 47.2% of mathematic degrees. For the “typical female majors”-education, health professions and home economics degrees-, the corresponding percentages were virtually identical. From above figures, we find that women enroll in very different major during - 10 - p.p.1-27 college years than do men. The gender differences in major had narrowed from 1968 to 1991, although large differences still remain. Different genders clearly leave school with different kinds of training, and these training differences could potentially explain the wage gap between men and women. We are able to list three possible reasons here: first, certain majors and certain courses may develop more valuable job-related human capital than do other majors and courses.(Paglin and Rufolo 1990). Second, differences in school content arise from differences in student abilities or preferences and that these differences, not school content, lead to higher wage. Third, labor market discrimination is a cause of sex difference in school content. This suggests that the payoff to investment in training for traditionally “male” fields may be higher for men than for women. 3.2.2 Comparison of high school graduate and college graduate Charles Brown and Mary Corcoran (1997) analyzed two groups of data, one is from high school courses and another is from college courses.3 The final results indicate that for high school graduates, differences in demographic variables, education and detailed work experience account for one-third of the weight of impact on wage gap. However, for college graduates, the gender differences in major account 3 The Survey of Income and Program Participation(SIPP) and the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972(NLS72) were used to estimate the extent to which high school courses and college majors are related to wages for prime age adults. - 11 - p.p.1-27 for half of the weight of impact on gender wage gap! We could see, obviously, differences in college majors are strongly related to the wage gap. The reason why differences in college major explain the wage gap may be that college major affects what kind of occupations and industries college graduates work in.4 More specifically, the reason for this sizable proportion of wage gap caused by differences in college major could be that certain majors provide training and skills that increase students’ productivity. If so, we could narrow the gender pay gap by encouraging women college students’ to enroll in profitable majors. But if students’ choices of college majors reflect their underlying abilities and preferences, then bring women into profitable majors may do little to narrow the gender pay gap. 3.2.3 Summarize the finding from school content of different gender What we learned in school would probably be an important issue to what occupation we will get in the future. Evidently, it is certain to say that the different genders get different skills out from school, which is one of the factors that potentially lead to the occupational segregation among genders. Furthermore, for different returns of occupations, we observed that there is a tendency that “typical male occupations” have higher returns than “typical female occupations”. Therefore, if the scenario that male/female pick their majors based on their born-in abilities and preferences is true, 4 The number of mathematics or natural science course a person takes and one’s college major have a significant impact on occupational achievement.(John Angle and David A.Wissmann, 1981) - 12 - p.p.1-27 the occupational segregation will form naturally. And this would surely cause gender pay gap due to the different returns on male-oriented job and female-oriented job. 3.3 3.3.1 the intuition behind the gender pay gap and occupational segregation Overview from the data For many decades, the women’s status in the labor market tends to stay in a fairly small number of relative low-paying, predominantly female jobs. Women were especially concentrated in administrative support and service occupations. In the early 1970s, 53% of women workers, compared to only 15% of men, were in such jobs, and less than one in five managers were women. Moreover, women in professional positions were frequently stayed in “traditional female professions”, such as nurse, pre kindergarten and kindergarten teacher, elementary school teacher, dietitian, or librarian. These “female professional position” tends to be relatively low-paying job compared to typical “male profession occupations. However, the situation of this occupational segregation has improved since 1970s. Although there are still many occupational differences remain between men and women remain, we could also observe some disparities have been reduced. In 1991, 41% of women workers, compared to 15% (same as in 1970s) of men, were in administrative support and service occupations. Women are now 45% of those in managerial jobs. Obviously, significant numbers of women have moved into a variety - 13 - p.p.1-27 of “typical male-oriented job”. We could see this trend potentially from that almost half of women who graduated college in 1960 became teachers, while in 1990, less than 10 percent did so.(Flyer and Rosen,1994) 3.3.2 The possible main factors about occupation segregation in genders Lots literatures of occupational segregation have focused on the differences in either qualifications or labor market treatment of similarly qualified individuals. Some advances have been made by considering the gender pay gap and other demographic pay differentials in the overall wage structure.(Juhn, Murphy and Pierce 1991) Given the traditional division of labor by gender in the family, women tend to accumulate less labor market experience than men. And because anticipate shorter and more discontinuous work lives, they have lower incentives to invest in market-oriented formal education and on-the-job training, which will result that smaller human capital investment of women will lower their earning relative to those of men. Furthermore, women may avoid jobs requiring large investments in skills which are unique to a particular enterprise, since the returns to such investments are reaped only as long as one remain with that employer. Labor market discrimination affects women’s wage and occupations, too. Discrimination is due to the discriminatory tastes of employers, co-workers, or customers(Becker’s 1957). Differences in the treatment of male and female arise from - 14 - p.p.1-27 average differences between two groups in expected value of productivity -statistical discrimination. Discriminatory exclusion of women from “male” jobs can result in an excess supply of labor in “female” occupations, depressing wages there for otherwise equally productive workers. The human capital model and models of discrimination potentially imply an important role for wage structure in explaining the gender gap. If, as the human capital model suggests, women have less experience than men, the higher return to experiences, the larger the gender gap in pay will be. Also, if women tend to work in different occupations and industries than men, the higher the premium for working in the male sector, the larger the gender gap in pay will be. IV、 From the glass ceiling to gender gap in top corporate jobs 4.1 The glass ceiling The term “glass ceiling” refers that there exists certain barrier to prevent women from reaching the high-level executives. Some evidences of the importance of discrimination comes from description of institutional barriers that have historically excluded women from particular pursuits or impeded their upward progression.(Reskin and Hartmann 1986). Many studies also found that women are less likely to be promoted.(Cobb-Clark and Dunlop 1999; McCue 1996; Herch and - 15 - p.p.1-27 Viscusi 1996). Here are some examples about disparities at the upper levels of professions. In academia, women constituted 44.7% of assistant professors in 1994-95, compared to 31.2% of associate and 16.2% of full professors.(Blau, Ferber and Winkler 1998). A recently study of faculty promotion in the economics profession found that female economists were significantly less likely to be promoted from assistant to associate and from associate to full professor under the same quality of Ph.D training, publishing productivity, major field of specialization current placement in a distinguish department, age and post-Ph.D. experience as their male colleagues.(McDowell, Singell and Ziliak 1999). In business, a federal Glass Ceiling Commission (1995) found that women comprise only 3 to 5% of senior managers in Fortune 1000 companies. 4.2 The gradually changing landscape in higher-level executives 4.2.1 Overview from the data The participation of women in the top corporate jobs was growing dramatically from 1.3% in 1992 to 3.4% in 1997. The fraction of firms with at least one woman in the top executive ranks grew from 5.4% in 1992 to 15.03% in 1997. Female top executives also seem to have improved their relative earning substantially, while the ratio of average female to average male compensation rose - 16 - p.p.1-27 from 52% in 1993 to 73% in 1997.5 We could see from the above data that the “glass ceiling” is somehow cracking and some women are involved in the to-level management of U.S. corporations over time. 4.2.2 Possible factors related to the pay gap in the top-level manager Men and women in this sample are likely to be similar in that both share a high level of job motivation and high career ambitions. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the unobservable differences, such as a relative lack of long-term career commitment among women, are minimized in the group of top executives. This special characteristic makes it easier to identify the unexplained gender pay gap more precisely by using the data of this high-pay group. . The role of firm size Women in top managerial positions tended to work for much smaller corporations than did men. By computing the fraction of women by deciles of firm market value, we found that women constituted about 3.5% of top management employment in the bottom two deciles and only 1% in the top decile. 5 Marianne Bertrand and Kevin F Hallock examine the gender compensation gap among high-level executives by using the data from ExecuComp. Pooling all the ExecuComp years together, total compensation was 33% lower for women than for men. On average, women earned a little less than $900,000(1997 dollars) in total compensation, compared to more than $1.3 million for the average male executive. - 17 - p.p.1-27 It is a well-known fact in the executive compensation literature that CEOs tend to be paid more the larger the firm’s size.(Murphy 1985;Kostiuk 1990;Rosen 1992) Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that the relative lower pay of under-representation of women in larger firms accounts for part the gender pay gap in this “top group”. The role of industrial segregation The female executives were not uniformly represented in all industrial sectors. Women are more likely to be managing companies that specialized in health and social service and in trade. In contrast, very few women held top-level positions in agriculture, construction, mining, and heavy manufacturing industries. Although female managers do not seem to have been distributed randomly across industries, we are unable to get firm evidence to show that this sex segregation by industry explains part of the observed gender gap. The role of occupational segregation The scarcity of female CEOs, Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Presidents accounts for as much as half of the gender compensation gap. Women who had made it into the top managerial level were less likely to be at the very top than were man. The fraction of women among CEOs, Chairs, and Vice Chairs was much less than 1%. There were also fewer female presidents if female top executives were randomly distributed - 18 - p.p.1-27 across occupations. The role of age and tenure Women of this group were much newer than their male counterparts in this top-level managerial job. Women tend to be much younger and had much less seniority in their company, than men. Part of the effect of age and seniority on the gender gap seems to be reflected in the size of companies women managed. V、 The international comparison of gender gap with U.S. 5.1 Brief review The gender differentials persist in all industrialized nations since the 1950. However, the size of the gender gap varies considerably across countries. Published data suggest that the Scandinavian countries, France, Australia and New Zealand had female-male hourly pay ratios of 80%-90%, while other countries in Western Europe and the United States had pay ratios of roughly 65%-75%. In 1979-1981, the U.S gender pay ratio was 62.5%, nearly 9 percentage points below the 71.2% average for the other 15 OECD countries.6 However, the U.S 6 Francine D.Blau and Lawrence M.Kahn (2000)conclude the female/male ratios, median weekly earnings of full-time workers(1979-81,1994-98) of OECD countries as follows: Australia(80%,86.8%), Austria(64.9%,69.2%)Belgium(na,90.1%,),Canada(63.3%,69.8%),Finland(73.4%,79.9%),France(79.9 %,89.9%),Germany(71.7%,75.5%),Ireland(na,74.5%),Italy(na,83.3%),Japan(58.7%,63.6%),Netherland s(na,76.9%),New Zealand(73.4%,81.4%),Spain(na,71.1%),Sweden(83.8%,83.5%),Switzerland(na,75.2%,),U.K.(62.6%,7 - 19 - p.p.1-27 gender pay gap ratio increased at a faster rate in the 1980s and 1990s than it did elsewhere. By 1994-98, it was 76.3%, only marginally below the non-U.S. average of 77.8%. Nonetheless, the gender earning ratio was higher in eight out of 16 other countries than it was in the United States. 5.2 The findings from the international comparison 5.2.1 Gender pay gap across countries Researches indicate that the gender gap is higher in the United States than in most OECD countries. The possible related factors are discussed as follows. (1) The most important factor which causes this higher gender gap in United States is the difference of the wage structure, specially the higher level of wage inequality in the United States relative to other industrialized countries. For instance, in two countries women have lower levels of labor market experience than men but that the gender difference in experience is the same in two countries; if the return to experience is higher in one country, then that nation will have a larger gender pay gap. (2) Skill prices can be affected by relative supplies, by technology, by the composition of demand or by the wage setting institutions of each country. 4.9%),U.S.(62.5%,76.3%).Non-US average(71.2%,77.4%) - 20 - p.p.1-27 Specifically, centralized wage-setting institutions, which tend to reduce inter-firm and inter-industry wage variation and are often associated with conscious policies to raise the relative pay of low-wage workers, may indirectly reduce the gender pay gap. The higher level of wage inequality in United States than elsewhere works to increase the US gender differential relative to that in all the other countries. The results suggest that the US gap would be similar to that in countries like Sweden and Australia (the countries with the smallest gaps)if the United States had their levels of wage inequality. Furthermore, a significant potion of the male-female pay gap in United States is associated with inter-industry or inter-firm wage differentials that result from its relatively decentralized-pay setting institutions. (Blau,1977) Again, the different wage structure inter-countries played an extreme important role in showing the comparison the gender pay gap between these countries. The wage structure in United Stated led a higher level of wage inequality when we compare that to other countries, which contribute a large part of higher gender pay gap of U.S. 5.2.2 Female wages relative to the male distribution across countries To determine the relative strength of wage structure we need to ascertain the wage consequences of women’s placement in the male wage distribution. We try to - 21 - p.p.1-27 see what the gender pay ratio would be if men and women in each country had their own relative position in the wage distribution, but overall wage inequality was at U.S. levels. The data show that the U.S gender ratio is higher than the non-US average of the distribution-corrected ratios in 1985-86 and 1993-94: 8.7 percentage points higher in 1985-86 and 13.9 percentage points higher in 1993-94.7 Compared to women in other countries, U.S. women are better qualified relative to men and encounter less discrimination. The ranking of the U.S. gender ratio in the face of these favorable gender specific factors is a consequence of the higher level of wage inequality in U.S, which places a much higher penalty on being below average in wage distribution. 5.3 Public policy for the international comparison with U.S The labor force participation rates indicates that U.S. women tend to be relatively more committed to the labor force than women in many countries, and the occupational segregation by sex tends to be lower in the United States than elsewhere. This suggests that U.S women have greater labor force attachment and job skills or encounter less discrimination in gaining access to traditionally male jobs.(Blau and Kahn,1996b;OECD 1999). Moreover, all OECD and European Community countries had passed equal pay and equal opportunity laws by the mid-1980s, but the United 7 The female/male wage ratio at US male wage distribution in two period(1985-86,1993-94): Australia(55.5%,66.7%),W.Germany(53.6%,36.8%),Britain(47.1%,68.9%),Austria(51.5%,60.5%),Italy (67.2%,62.2%),U.S.(63.7%,72.9%). Non-U.S. average(55%,72.9%) - 22 - p.p.1-27 States implemented its antidiscrimination legislation before most other countries(Blau and Kahn ,1996b) By international standards, the United States does have a relatively weak entitlement to family leave, consisting unpaid 13-week mandated period. In contrast, most OECD countries have a much longer period of leave, and this leave is usually paid. (Ruhm,1998) Child care is another area of public policy which particularly affects women, but it is more difficult to summarize across a large set of countries. Available evidence suggests that the United States had a smaller share of young children in publicly funded child care than many other OECD countries, but provide generous tax relief for child care expenses.(Gornick, Myers and Ross ,1997) VI、 Conclusion As we look back to 1950s, American females were much unequally treated compared to their male counterparts in workplace. A significant trend in narrowing gender pay gap has occurred since 1980s. We could conclude that this upstream strength was from the net effect of the favorable factors (the improvement of women’s skill, experience and educational level, the decline in discrimination against female) and other unfavorable factors.(rising wage inequality and higher returns to skills). - 23 - p.p.1-27 Furthermore, I consider that the supply shifts were larger than demand shifts did damage the women’s overall progress in eighties.(gender twist effect) The occupational segregation issue of U.S. has been under discovered in this paper, too. From the investigation of the different school contents between genders, we are able to observe that certain majors did bring higher returns in labor markets. The choice of majors, or skill-training that different genders get out from school was possibly related to the natural preference and different ability. There is a tendency that the return of male-oriented job is higher than that of female one. Therefore, it is foreseeable that the occupational segregation in gender could take a great part of gender pay gap. Also, by comparing the high school graduates and college graduates, we found that the majors in college are more influential than which in high school, since the college majors affects what kind of occupations and industries graduates work in for both genders. The wage structure explained a big part in gender pay gap, especially for the occupational segregation issue. If women tend to have certain kinds of skills and less experience than men, then the higher premium for “male-skill” and the higher return for experience would lead to even larger gender pay gap. Difference in the treatment of male and female arise from the discriminatory of employers, co-workers, or customers also accounts partially for the occupational segregation. - 24 - p.p.1-27 There exists certain level of barriers to prevent female from reaching higher level- managerial job. Although these barriers, named glass ceiling, have been removed gradually recently year, we still could observe large gap between genders remains in top corporate job. The difference in firm size under male and female, the difficulty for women to get promoted, the different profession women in, and the less senior and experienced among women managers all contributed to this top-level gap between genders. This gap is not only in compensations, but also in different environment circumstances that female have to confront. Since females have no chance to promote in big company, they have to start their own relative small company. Females also have difficulty to get into typical male-professions for higher position. I consider that, especially in high-level positions, these are certain obstacles hard to break down, although it has been improving gradually since 1980s. I tried to compare the gender pay gap across countries at the end. From data, we could see that the gender pay gap is higher in the U.S. than in most industrial countries (OECD). This probably could be mostly attributed to the difference of the wage structure, specially the higher level of wage inequality. This paper still left further incomplete field for us to dedicate in. For future research, I am looking forward to telling about more gender gap across industrials and - 25 - p.p.1-27 across countries rather than only focus in US. And by concluding more possible factors in explaining the gender gap, such as the different culture of enterprise, the religions of people, the wealth condition of one country, I would be able to analyze this gender issue among labor market more precisely. VII、 References Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M.Kahn. 2000. “Gender differences in pay.” Journal of Economic perspectives. 14:4,pp. 75-99. Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M.Kahn. 1997. “Swimming upstream: Trends in the gender wage differential in the 1980s.” Journal of Labor Economic. 15:1,pp. 1-42. Erica L. Groshen.1990. “The structure of the female/male wage differential: is it who you are, what you do, or where you work?” The journal of human resources. XXVI. 3. pp. 457-472. William P.Bridges. 2003.“Rethinking gender segregation and gender inequality: measures and meanings.” Demography. 40:3 pp.543-568. John Angle and David A. Wissmann.1981.”Gender, college major, and earnings.” Sociology of Education. 54(January). Pp.25-33. Charles Brown and Mary Corcoran. 1997. “Sex-based differences in school - 26 - p.p.1-27 content and the male-female wage gap.” Journal of Labor Economics. 15:3. pp.431-465. Marianne Bertrand and Kevin F. Hallock. 2001.”The gender gap in top corporate jobs.” Industrial and labor relations review. 55:1. pp.3-20. Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M.Kahn. 1992. “The gender earning gap: Learning from international comparisons.” Gender and labor market outcomes. 82:2, pp. 533-538. Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M.Kahn. 1996. “Wage structure and gender earnings differentials: an international comparison.” Economica. . - 27 - 63,pp. 29-62..