Olav Sorenson and Michael S. Dahl
We examine the extent to which the gender wage gap may depend on the fact that dual-earner couples jointly choose places to live and work. If couples systematically locate in places better suited for the advancement of the husband’s career than to the wife’s, those choices would then tend to depress the wages of married women relative to married men. Examining data from Denmark, our results suggest (i) that Danish couples tend to move to places that offer greater potential wage gains to the husband than to the wife, (ii) that these location choices may account for as much as 36% of the gender wage gap in Denmark, and (iii) that, ultimately, these biases appear to reflect gender roles, to a large extent inherited from the wife’ parents. We therefore demonstrate that the allocation of people to places contributes to gender inequality.