AHS-O1-4. The Gender Wage Gap as it Relates to State Partisan Control and Pay Equity Policy

Candace Wells1
Faculty Mentor: Kenneth Miller, Ph.D.1
1College of Liberal Arts, Department of Political Science

This study offers an explanation to the interstate variation of the gender wage gap in the United States. Looking at political explanations as an answer for the wage gap’s persistence, I hypothesize that Democratically controlled state government positively impacts the state having pay equity policies, and that having these pay equity policies positively impacts the state’s gender wage gap. Using U.S. Census Bureau, National Conference of State Legislatures, and American Association of University Women with U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau data, I find that while there is a correlation between Democratically controlled state legislatures and pay equity policy and a correlation between Democratic majority legislatures and a narrower gender wage gap, there does not appear to be a direct association between pay equity policy and the state’s gender wage gap. The findings suggest that partisanship of the state legislature plays a key role in the wage equity policy of a state, as well as the reasoning that longstanding Democratic majorities have already passed policy to combat the apparent causes of the gap, and that more in depth policy is thus necessary to completely close it.


Nov 15 - 19 2021


All Day


AHS: Podium Session 1
The Office of Undergraduate Research


The Office of Undergraduate Research


4 Replies to “AHS-O1-4. The Gender Wage Gap as it Relates to State Partisan Control and Pay Equity Policy”

  1. Hello Candace,
    Thank you for sharing! It was very clear and easy to follow since the information was detailed. I have heard about this topic in the past, but I have thought very little of it since I rarely hear it nowadays. I thought that was all addressed and that everyone is getting equal pay. I figure the only pay difference is the occupation for example most males tend to go for being a doctor while females gravitate towards being the nurse. Of course, this isn’t always the case but it’s the “stereotypical” saying that most people often refer to. I was not aware of the gender pay gap in the same occupation. I found your research to be interesting due to all the variables and different factors, you mentioned that could have caused this gender pay gap.

  2. Thank you for your research Candace, I found it very interested and a topic that is not touched as much it should be. Your control variables are very strong and it is good you have them into consideration. When comparing the wage gap across the nation, I found it to be quite challenging. The Federal Gov is in charge to enforce the Equal Pay Act of 1963, in this sense companies ultimately decide how much to pay based on their marginal cost. I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Explained” about Gender Gap in the US. This can be useful for you as it can help you add more control variables to your study. I am looking forward to hear from you in the future.

    Thank you

  3. Great presentation, Candace! This was a very unique way to study the gender wage gap. I like your detailed explanation of each variable, it helped the viewer understand the methodolgy behind the project. Thanks fo sharing!

  4. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to view my presentation. Please feel welcome to ask any questions or provide feedback in the comment section.

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