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The gender wage gap: A comparison of Australia and Canada

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  • Michael P. Kidd
  • Michael Shannon

Abstract

Using data from the 1989 Canadian Labour Market Activity Survey and, for Australia, the 1989-90 Income Distribution Survey, the authors investigate the reasons for the significantly lower gender wage gap in Australia than in Canada. Key similarities and differences between these two countries, the authors argue, make them a good basis for a "natural experiment" to investigate the effects of different labor market institutions. In particular, Australia has a stronger union movement and a greater degree of centralization in wage determination than Canada, and most of its workers are covered by legally binding minimum working conditions. The authors conclude that several differences between the countries in labor market structure-notably, a lower rate of return to education, a lower rate of return to labor market experience, and a lower level of wage inequality in Australia than in Canada- are largely responsible for the smaller gender wage gap in Australia. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 729-746

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:49:y:1996:i:4:p:729-746

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance Benefit Levels and Consumption Changes," Discussion Papers 96-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Ross Finnie & Ted Wannell, 2004. "Evolution of the gender earnings gap among Canadian university graduates," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(17), pages 1967-1978.
  3. Kingsley R. Browne, 1999. "An evolutionary account of women's workplace status," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7-8), pages 427-440.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
  5. Damian Grimshaw, 2000. "Public Sector Employment, Wage Inequality and the Gender Pay Ratio in the UK," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 427-448.
  6. Liu, Pak-Wai & Zhang, Junsen & Chong, Shu-Chuen, 2004. "Occupational segregation and wage differentials between natives and immigrants: evidence from Hong Kong," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 395-413, February.
  7. Blackaby, D. H. & Murphy, P. D. & O'Leary, N. C., 1999. "The payment of public sector workers in the UK: reconciliation with North American findings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 239-243, November.

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