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NYstateOfMind88's avatar

How does the "human capital model" and "labor market discrimination model" explain the gender wage gap?

Asked by NYstateOfMind88 (76points) December 17th, 2008

I’m not by any means trying to get someone to do my homework for me, just trying to gain a better understanding on the matter for an exam.

I already know the gender wage gap, I’m just having trouble figuring out how those two models relate to it.

I lost my book so if anyone knows about this stuff I’d appreciate their help, any help. Thanks a ton.

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2 Answers

hypeserver's avatar

Labor Market Discrimination Model
This site has a pretty good answer on how the “labor market discrimination model” relates to the gender wage gap. Although it only gives a definition of the model it may help you better understand the relation. Basically the model is just a form of the gender wage gap.
Human Capital Model
This first link deals with what the “Human Capital Model” is.
This second link deals with how it relates to the gender wage gap.

wundayatta's avatar

Ok, I’m going to make this up without doing any research. I’m just guessing about what the model titles actually mean.

The Human Capital Model suggests that wages are a function of the amount of social (or human) capital a person has, and that men have developed more social capital (perhaps for a variety of reasons—they go out more, they meet with people with more social capital, they have more education, etc. etc) compared to women, so they get paid more. In other words, the wage gap is reasonable.

Labor market discrimination, on the other hand, says that the gap is due to generalized bias on the part of employers (and society). They pay less because they can get away with it, or because they don’t let women have the higher paying jobs. Employers are deliberately discriminating against women (although they may not be aware that they are discrimiating).

So there you have it: one says the gender wage gap is justified, and the other says it isn’t.

So, how’d I do? Don’t forget, I have no book learning on this. This all comes from whatever I’ve picked up by rubbing shoulders with researchers, and asking them to talk to me. I am, therefore, really weak about the language used (the terms of art), but perahps a little stronger on the theory. Ah, who the hell knows!

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