Get access

STATE POLICIES AND GENDER EARNINGS INEQUALITY: A Multilevel Analysis of 50 U.S. States Based on U.S. Census 2000 Data


  • This work has been supported by the Department of Sociology, Yonsei University Institute of “Social Subsumption and Exclusion,” a Brain Korea 21 program, Korea.

Kirak Ryu, Department of Sociology, Yonsei University, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 120-749, Korea; e-mail:


This article examines distinct dimensions of state government intervention in labor markets across states in the United States and investigates the effect of these interventions on gender inequality in earnings. Statistical models that take into account the contextual effects of family policies on gender inequality in earnings are constructed. Results from multilevel models show that progressive state institutional environments supportive of norms of equality help female employees catch-up with their male counterparts with regard to rewards, while states that function as welfare providers and employers exacerbate the gender gap in earnings.