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The gender wage gap is defined as the average difference in pay between men and women who are in the workforce. Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex, yet the differences in wages are still felt today. Using the Oaxaca decomposition, we can illustrate a portion of the gender wage gap can be due to differences in skills, however the remaining unexplained portion can be interpreted as discrimination. It is generally known that union contracted jobs have higher wages and better benefits than non-union jobs, which in contrast should lead to less discrimination with regards of wages to different genders. This paper will use old data from a survey of identical twins to study the economic effect of gender. A famous paper was written on this data by Orley Ashenfelter and Alan Krueger which captured differences in economic returns on schooling when controlling for the same genetic makeup. The first focus of the paper is to see if the differences in wages between male and females are due to discrimination with regards of identical twins, while the second focus is to see if union jobs have different wage gap than non-union jobs. Using identical twins as our sample data will eliminate outside factors that are difficult to control for, which will give us a better understanding of the gender wage gap.

Publication Date

Spring 2021




Gender; Wage gap; Identical twins;



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1034 KB


Faculty Mentor: Djeto Assane, Ph.D.

Gender Wage Gap within Identical Twins

Included in

Economics Commons