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CEP/STICERD Applications Seminars

How the 1963 Equal Pay Act and 1964 Civil Rights Act Shaped the U.S. Gender Gap

Martha Bailey (University of California, Los Angeles), joint with Thomas Helgerman and Bryan A. Stuart

Monday 14 June 2021 12:00 - 13:30


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About this event

In the 1960s, two landmark pieces of legislation targeted the long-standing practice of labor-market discrimination against U.S. women. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 mandated equal pay for equal work, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 included a broader ban on all employment discrimination by sex. We evaluate the combined effects of this legislation using two complementary research designs, which exploit variation in the incidence of the legislation due to pre-existing state equal pay laws and pre-existing pay gaps. Our findings show that equal pay and fair employment legislation reduced discrimination against women and increased their wages. Although we find little evidence that the legislation reduced women’s employment or hours overall, their employment growth slowed the jobs more affected by the legislation.

Participants are expected to adhere to the CEP Events Code of Conduct.


This series is part of the CEP's Labour Markets programme.