Aggregate Costs of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Grant Type: doctoral

Grant Year: 2022

Grant Amount: $15,000

Grant description:

Workplace sexual harassment is a pervasive problem that affects women more than men and often leads to a decline in productivity and altered labor market outcomes for survivors. This project is the first to attempt to quantify the implications of workplace sexual harassment for economic growth and gender wage inequality. What are the aggregate implications of workplace sexual harassment? And how can policy effectively reduce its consequences? The authors will use employer-employee linked administrative data from Denmark, along with a survey tracking instances of workplace sexual harassment, to calibrate a quantitative model. They will measure three channels: productivity, the accumulation of human capital, and the allocation of talent. They will also measure how each of these channels affect output and wage inequality, and how harassment affects workers directly reporting harassment, as well as the spillover to other workers at the same firm. These measurements will enable the authors to see when people change jobs after harassment or don’t change jobs, and they plan to look beyond policies intended to address harassment, including policies that boost worker power and mobility.

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