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The Gender Wage Gaps, 'Sticky Floors' and 'Glass Ceilings' of the European Union

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Author Info

  • Christofides, Louis N.

    ()
    (University of Cyprus)

  • Polycarpou, Alexandros

    ()
    (University of Cyprus)

  • Vrachimis, Konstantinos

    ()
    (University of Cyprus)

Abstract

We consider and attempt to understand the gender wage gap across 24 EU member states, all of which share the objective of gender equality, using 2007 data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. The size of the gender wage gap varies considerably across countries and selection corrections affect the offered gap, sometimes substantially. Most of the gap cannot be explained by the characteristics available in this data set. Quantile regressions show that, in most countries, the wage gap is wider at the top of the wage distribution ('glass ceilings') and, in fewer countries, it is wider at the bottom of the wage distribution ('sticky floors'). These features are related to country-specific characteristics that cannot be evaluated at the member state level. We use the cross-country variation in this large sample of member states to explore the influence of (i) policies concerned with reconciling work and family life and (ii) wage-setting institutions. We find that policies and institutions are systematically related to unexplained gender wage gaps.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5044.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2013, 21, 86-102
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5044

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Keywords: wage-setting institutions; gender wage gap; selection; quantile effects; work-family reconciliation;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dorota Witkowska, 2013. "Gender Disparities in the Labor Market in the EU," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 331-354, November.
  2. Cristiano Perugini & Ekaterina Selezneva, 2013. "Labour Market Institutions, Crisis and Gender Earnings Gap in Eastern Europe," Working Papers 328, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  3. Schäfer, Andrea & Tucci, Ingrid & Gottschall, Karin, 2011. "Top down or bottom up? A cross-national study of vertical occupational sex segregation in twelve European Countries," Working papers of the ZeS 04/2011, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
  4. Barbara Liberda & Joanna Tyrowicz & Magdalena Smyk, 2013. "Age-productivity patterns in talent occupations for men and women: a decomposition," Working Papers 2013-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

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