American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)


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Compensating Differentials for Sexual Harassment

Article Citation

Hersch, Joni. 2011. "Compensating Differentials for Sexual Harassment." American Economic Review, 101(3): 630-34.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.630


Workplace sexual harassment is illegal, but many workers report that they have been sexually harassed. Exposure to the risk of sexual harassment may decrease productivity, which would reduce wages. Alternatively, workers may receive a compensating differential for exposure to sexual harassment, which would increase wages. Data on claims of sexual harassment filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are used to calculate the first measures of sexual harassment risks by industry, age group, and sex. Female workers face far higher sexual harassment risks. On balance, workers receive a compensating wage differential for exposure to the risk of sexual harassment.

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Hersch, Joni (Vanderbilt U)

JEL Classifications

J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J71: Labor Discrimination

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