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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Ludwig, Sandra / Schmitz, Hendrik

Ed. by Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Jürges, Hendrik / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.520
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.556

CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.356
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.394

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Volume 8, Issue 1


Volume 20 (2020)

Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences

Kristen Schilt / Matthew Wiswall
Published Online: 2008-09-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.1862


We use the workplace experiences of transgender people – individuals who change their gender typically with hormone therapy and surgery – to provide new insights into the long-standing question of what role gender plays in shaping workplace outcomes. Using an original survey of male-to-female and female-to-male transgender people, we document the earnings and employment experiences of transgender people before and after their gender transitions. We find that while transgender people have the same human capital after their transitions, their workplace experiences often change radically. We estimate that average earnings for female-to-male transgender workers increase slightly following their gender transitions, while average earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fall by nearly 1/3. This finding is consistent with qualitative evidence that for many male-to-female workers, becoming a woman often brings a loss of authority, harassment, and termination, but that for many female-to-male workers, becoming a man often brings an increase in respect and authority. These findings challenge the omitted variables explanations for the gender pay gap and illustrate the often hidden and subtle processes that produce gender inequality in workplace outcomes.

Keywords: gender; labor market discrimination

About the article

Published Online: 2008-09-11

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.1862.

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