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Something in the way She Movcs: A Fresh Look at an Old Gap

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  • Alan Manning
  • Helen Robinson

Abstract

Most studies of the gender pay gap use cross-section earnings functions to apply a Oaxaca decomposition into the contributions of differences in characteristics and coefficients. But the accounts that these studies provide of the gender pay gap are often hard to relate to more informal stories told about the sources of women's disadvantage in the labour market. In this paper we show how one can use a minimal amount of panel data to decompose average earnings into the contribution of the average starting wage for workers entering paid work from non-employment, average wage growth for those in continuous employment and the fraction of workers entering employment. We use this decomposition to try to identify the source of the pay gap between men and women and the gap between full-time and part-time women using data drawn from the British Household Panel Survey. Comparing men and women we find no significant differences in wage growth whilst in continuous employment so that the source of the gender pay gap comes from the entrant pay gap and the share of entrants. Looking at longer-run changes suggests that we would expect to see a further narrowing of the gap. Comparing full- and part-time women there is no difference in entry pay shares and little difference in wage growth so that the bulk of the differential can be explained in terms of the fact that part-time women are much more likely to be entrants.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0389.

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Date of creation: May 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0389

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Albrecht, J & Edin, P-A & Sundstrom, M & Vroman, S-B, 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earning : A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Papers 1996-23, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  2. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  3. Gronau, Reuben, 1988. "Sex-Related Wage Differentials and Women's Interrupted Labor Careers--The Chicken or the Egg," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 277-301, July.
  4. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  6. Richard Dickens, 1996. "The Evolution of Individual Male Earnings in Great Britain 1974-1994," CEP Discussion Papers dp0306, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Dickens, Richard, 2000. "The Evolution of Individual Male Earnings in Great Britain: 1975-95," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 27-49, January.
  8. Edin, P.A. & Nynabb, J., 1992. "Gender Wage Differentials and Interrupted Work Careers : Swedish Evidence," Papers 1992-17, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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Cited by:
  1. Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Pourquoi les jeunes provenant de familles a plus faible revenu sont-ils moins susceptibles de frequenter l'universite? Analyse fondee sur les aptitudes aux etudes, l'influence des parents et les contr," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2007295f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  2. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
  3. Giovanni Russo & Wolter Hassink, 2005. "The Part-Time Wage Penalty: a Career Perspective," Working Papers 05-01, Utrecht School of Economics.
  4. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The gender gap in early-career wage growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 983-1024, 07.
  5. Heitmueller, Axel & Inglis, Kirsty, 2004. "Carefree? Participation and Pay Differentials for Informal Carers in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 1273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Barry T. Hirsch, 2005. "Why do part-time workers earn less? The role of worker and job skills," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(4), pages 525-551, July.
  7. Mc Quaid, Ronald & Bergmann, Ariel, 2008. "Employer recruitment preferences and discrimination: a stated preference experiment," MPRA Paper 30801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Russo, Giovanni & Hassink, Wolter, 2005. "The Part-Time Wage Penalty: A Career Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 1468, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Why Are Youth from Lower-income Families Less Likely to Attend University? Evidence from Academic Abilities, Parental Influences, and Financial Constraints," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007295e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  10. Zeman, Klarka & Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Why Are Most University Students Women? Evidence Based on Academic Performance, Study Habits and Parental Influences," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007303e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  11. Kerly Krillo & Jaan Masso, 2010. "The Part-Time/Full-Time Wage Gap In Central And Eastern Europe: The Case Of Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 65, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  12. Martin, Daniel & Wiley, Donna & Legree, Peter, 2006. "Ethnocentrism and Internal Compensation Structuring: An Experimental Examination of Point Factor Job Evaluation," MPRA Paper 28683, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Mumford, Karen A. & Smith, Peter N., 2007. "Assessing the Importance of Male and Female Part-Time Work for the Gender Earnings Gap in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2981, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Van Kerm, Philippe, 2009. "Generalized measures of wage differentials," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-08, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  15. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Wunderlich, Gaby, 2001. "The changing gender gap across the wage distribution in the UK," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-56, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Giovanni Russo & Wolter Hassink, 2008. "The Part-Time Wage Gap: a Career Perspective," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 145-174, June.
  17. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-26 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Karen Mumford & Peter N Smith, . "The Gender Earnings Gap in Britain," Discussion Papers 04/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
  19. Colella, Fabrizio, 2014. "Women's Part-Time - Full-Time Wage Differentials in Europe: an Endogenous Switching Model," MPRA Paper 55287, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Elke Wolf, 2014. "The German Part-Time Wage Gap: Bad News for Men," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 663, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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