Peter Q. Blair is Assistant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
An important puzzle in economics is what caused the stagnation in gender wage convergence during the 1990s. Prior to the 1990s, the gender wage gap declined by 1 p.p. per year. In the decades since, the convergence rate is close to zero. Using an event study design that exploits the timing of family-leave policies across states, we show the introduction of leave policies contributed to the stagnation of gender wage convergence. Based on our estimates, if gender wage convergence had continued at the pre-family leave rate, wage parity between white women and men would have been achieved as early as 2017.