Monopsonistic Labour Markets and the Gender Pay Gap: Theory and Empirical Evidence
Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems,
This book investigates models of spatial and dynamic monopsony and their application to the persistent empirical regularity of the gender pay gap. Theoretically, the main conclusion is that employers possess more monopsony power over their female employees if women are less driven by pecuniary considerations in their choice of employers than men. Employers may exploit this to increase their profits at the detriment of women’s wages. Empirically, it is indeed found that women’s labour supply to the firm is less wage-elastic than men’s and that at least a third of the gender pay gap in the data investigated may result from employers engaging in monopsonistic discrimination. Therefore, a monopsonistic approach to gender discrimination in the labour market clearly contributes to the economic understanding of the gender pay gap. It not only provides an intuitively appealing explanation of the gap from standard economic reasoning, but it is also corroborated by empirical observation.
The Gender Pay Gap under Duopsony: Joan Robinson meets Harold Hotelling
Scottish Journal of Political Economy,
This paper presents an alternative explanation of the gender pay gap resting on a simple Hotelling-style duopsony model of the labour market. Since there are only two employers, equally productive women and men have to commute and face travel cost to do so. We assume that some women have higher travel cost, e.g., due to more domestic responsibilities. Employers exploit that women on average are less inclined to commute and offer lower wages to all women. Since women's firm-level labour supply is for this reason less wage-elastic, this model is in line with Robinson's explanation of wage discrimination.