Joni Hersch (Vanderbilt Law & Econ) recently circulated an intriguing paper assessing whether gender discrimination can be dismissed as an explanation for pay disparity between men and women. Indeed, the title of her paper, Sex Discrimination in the Labor Market, gives away the thrust of her argument. An excerpt from the abstract follows.
"The main issue considered in this paper is whether gender differences in choices, especially with respect to the family and household, are indeed responsible for the gender pay gap, or whether discrimination plays a role. On balance, the evidence indicates that sex discrimination remains a possible explanation of the unexplained gender pay gap. This is consistent with the continuing high profile sex discrimination litigation suggestive of on-going inferior treatment on the basis of sex."