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Gender wage gaps, ‘sticky floors’ and ‘glass ceilings’ in Europe

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Author Info

  • Christofides, Louis N.
  • Polycarpou, Alexandros
  • Vrachimis, Konstantinos

Abstract

We consider and attempt to understand the gender wage gap across 26 European countries, using 2007 data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions.44European Commission, Eurostat, cross-sectional EU-SILC UDB 2007 — version 1 of March 2009. Eurostat has no responsibility for the results and conclusions of this paper.The size of the gender wage gap varies considerably across countries, definitions of the gap, and selection–correction mechanisms. Most of the gap cannot be explained by the characteristics available in this data set. Quantile regressions show that, in a number of countries, the wage gap is wider at the top (‘glass ceilings’) and/or at the bottom of the wage distribution (‘sticky floors’). We find larger mean/median gender gaps and more evidence of glass ceilings for full-time full-year employees, suggesting more female disadvantage in ‘better’ jobs. These features may be related to country-specific policies that cannot be evaluated at the individual-country level, at a point in time. We use the cross-country variation in the unexplained wage gaps of this larger-than-usual sample of states to explore the influence of (i) country policies that reconcile work and family life and (ii) their wage-setting institutions. We find that country policies and institutions are related to features of their unexplained gender wage gaps in systematic, quantitatively important, ways.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 86-102

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:21:y:2013:i:c:p:86-102

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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Keywords: Gender wage gap; Selection; Quantiles; Work–family reconciliation; Wage-setting institutions;

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Cited by:
  1. VAN KERM Philippe & YU Seunghee & CHOE Chung, 2014. "Wage differentials between native, immigrant and cross-border workers: Evidence and model comparisons," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2014-05, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  2. Eva Olimpia Arceo Gómez & Raymundo Campos-Vázquez, 2013. "Evolución de la Brecha Salarial de Género en México," Working papers DTE 556, CIDE, División de Economía.
  3. SELEZNEVA Ekaterina & VAN KERM Philippe, 2013. "Inequality-adjusted gender wage differentials in Germany," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-18, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Christos Koutsampelas, 2012. "Aspects of Elderly Poverty in Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 6(1), pages 69-89, June.
  5. Grund, Christian, 2014. "Gender Pay Gaps among Highly Educated Professionals: Compensation Components Do Matter," IZA Discussion Papers 8112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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