Origins of the Gender Wage: Gender Differences in Pay in the Adolescent Labor Market

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


The gender wage gap is among the most durable and most the most studied characteristics of the labor market. Yet, most studies focus on the adult labor market, excluding the substantial population of teenagers in the United States who work while still in school. This project focuses exclusively on the teenage labor force, particularly those between the ages of 12 and 16, and explores gender differences in pay in the early labor markets. Research topics examined include the point or age at which the gender wage gap emerges, and how these gender differences in pay during the early years translate into the adult gender wage gap. The study uses data for 12-16 year old workers from both the United States and other industrialized countries for comparison.

Grant Product

Origins of the Gender Wage Gap: Gender Differences in the Labor Force, Chapter 7 in Consuming Work: Youth Labor in America
Yasemin Besen-Cassino. Temple University Press, 2014, pp. 122-143

The Cost of Being a Girl: Gender Earning Differentials in the Early Labor Markets,
NWSA Journal 20(1)(Spring 2008): 146-160

Gender Wage Gap in the Teenage Labor Market, The Diversity Factor, Barriers to Continue to Block Advancement 17(3)(Summer 2009): 11-17

The Cost of Being a Girl: Gender Earning Differentials in the Early Labor Markets. In Getting In Is Not Enough: Women and the Global Workplace,
Colette Morrow and Terri Ann Fredrick, eds. Baltimore MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012