Statistical gender discrimination: evidence from young workers across four decades and 56 countries

Statistical discrimination offers a compelling narrative on gender wage gaps among younger workers. Employers could discount women's wages to adjust for probable costs linked to childbearing. Given trends towards lower and delayed fertility one should observe a lower discount in wages and a reduction in the gender wage gap among entrants. We put this conjecture to test. We provide a novel collection of adjusted gender wage gap (AGWG) estimates among young workers from 56 countries spanning four decades. We use these estimates to study the effects of postponing childbirth on AGWG. We find that postponing first parity by a year reduces AGWG by two percentage points (15%). We further benchmark the implied gender inequality with the help of time-use data