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Parametric vs. Semi-parametric Estimation of the Male-Female Wage Gap: An Application to France

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  • Robert Breunig
  • Sandrine Rospabe

Abstract

We use a semi-parametric method to decompose the difference in male and female wage densities into two parts-one explained by characteristics and one which is attributable to differences in returns to characteristics. We demonstrate that one learns substantially more about the gender wage gap in France through this analysis than through standard parametric techniques. In particular, we find that there are no unexplained differences in male and female earning distributions in the bottom fifth of the data. Occupation and part-time status are the most important determinants of the wage gap for all workers. In the semi-parametric estimates we find that education plays no role in the wage gap once we account for occupation and part-time status.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 548.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:548

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Keywords: Gender pay gap; sticky floors; glass ceilings; semi-parametric estimation;

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  1. Neuman, Shoshana & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1998. "Estimating Labour Market Discrimination with Selectivity Corrected Wage Equations: Methodological Considerations and an Illustration from Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 1915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
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  4. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-43, May.
  5. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  6. Nidardo, J. & Fortin, N. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Papers 93-94-15, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  7. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2006. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 510, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. David Neumark, 1987. "Employers' discriminatory behavior and the estimation of wage discrimination," Special Studies Papers 227, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  10. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  11. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
  12. Dominique Meurs & Sophie Ponthieux, 2000. "Une mesure de la discrimination dans l'écart de salaire entre hommes et femmes," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 337(1), pages 135-158.
  13. Alain Bayet, 1996. "Carrières continues, carrières incomplètes et salaires," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 299(1), pages 21-36.
  14. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2004. "The gender earnings gap: effects of institutions and firms--a comparative study of French and Australian private firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 189-208, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Juan D. Bar�N & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, 06.
  2. Dileni Gunewardena & Darshi Abeyrathna & Amalie Ellagala & Kamani Rajakaruna & Shobana Rajendran, 2008. "Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors or Sticky Doors? A Quantile Regression Approach to Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka," Working Papers PMMA 2008-04, PEP-PMMA.
  3. Gurleen Popli, 2008. "Gender wage discrimination in Mexico: A distributional approach," Working Papers 2008006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2008.

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