April 2014

IZA DP No. 8134: Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy

published in: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2017, 9, 1-44

This paper investigates the role of the rise of services in the narrowing of gender gaps in hours and wages in recent decades. We document the between-industry component of the rise in female work for the U.S., and propose a model economy with goods, services and home production, in which women have a comparative advantage in producing market and home services. The rise of services, driven by structural transformation and marketization of home production, acts as a gender-biased demand shift raising women's relative wages and market hours. Quantitatively, the model accounts for an important share of the observed trends.