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Gender wage discrimination in India-- Glass ceiling or sticky floor?

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  • SHANTANU KHANNA

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)

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    Abstract

    Traditional analysis of gender wage gaps has largely focused on average gaps between men and women, and mean wage decompositions such as the Blinder-Oaxaca (1973) decomposition method. To answer the question of whether there is a “glass ceiling” or a “sticky floor”, i.e. whether wage gaps are higher at the upper or lower ends of the wage distribution, this paper examines the wage gaps across different quantiles of the wage distribution. These gender wage gaps are analysed for regular wage workers in India using the 66th round of the National Sample Survey’s Employment - Unemployment Schedule (2009-2010). The paper finds evidence of a “sticky floor”. In addition to estimating the standard OLS wage equations for men and women, quantile regressions are used to assess how different covariates such as education, union membership, and occupations, affect within and between group (gender) inequalities. Finally, the Machado-Mata-Melly (2006) decomposition method is used to decompose gender wage gaps at different quantiles to determine whether it is the differences in characteristics (levels of covariates) or the unexplained (discrimination) component that drives the sticky floor effect. The paper concludes with a discussion on the possible reasons for observing a sticky floor phenomenon in India.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics in its series Working papers with number 214.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:214

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    Related research

    Keywords: wage decompositions; gender discrimination; glass ceiling; sticky floor; quantile regressions;

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    1. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
    2. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2004. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Nicole Fortin & Thomas Lemieux & Sergio Firpo, 2010. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," NBER Working Papers 16045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Zheng Fang & Chris Sakellariou, 2011. "A Case of Sticky Floors: Gender Wage Differentials in Thailand," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 35-54, 03.
    5. Viktoria Hnatkovska & Amartya Lahiri & Sourabh Paul, 2012. "Castes and Labor Mobility," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 274-307, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
    9. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1994. "Earnings discrimination measurement : A distributional approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 81-102, March.
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