Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Economics

First Advisor

Natalia Kolesnikova

Second Advisor

John Gardner

Third Advisor

Thomas Garrett

Relational Format



The first chapter examines how women's local labor supply decisions affect the national gender wage gap. The national wage is the sum of weighted local wages, which combines local wages and local employment weights. Here, I emphasize the role of local employment weights, especially for women, which can reflect worker's labor supply decisions across locations. I show that, only for highly-educated women, there is a significant negative relationship between employment-to-population ratio and average log wage across locations. This relationship is stronger for married women with children. Since fewer highly-educated women are working in high-wage cities while more highly-educated women are working in low-wage cities (i.e. different employment weights), I argue that the national-level gender wage gap would be overstated. To test this hypothesis, I use two empirical strategies. First, I conduct a counterfactual gender wage gap analysis by replacing women's local employment weights with men's and show that the log wage difference between men and women with an advanced degree can be reduced by 2 percent. Second, I estimate the college-educated gender wage gap with location controls, which is 5 percent less than the gap without location controls.

Included in

Economics Commons



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