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Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Positions in the U.S. and Denmark

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Author Info

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Oaxaca, Ronald L.

    ()
    (University of Arizona)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

Abstract

We compare how U.S. and Danish gender wage gaps have developed between 1983 and 1995 using U.S. PSID and Danish Longitudinal Sample data. Using a new decomposition method, we show that changes in returns to observable skills and ranking effects outweigh women’s gains due to qualifications and account for a rising gap in Denmark, while these effects cannot counter the large decline in the wage gap in the U.S. in this period. Increased wage dispersion has a minimal effect on the gap in both countries. Women at the highest decile in Denmark face the biggest increase in the gap, while in the U.S., the decline is largest at the top and at the middle of the distribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 756.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2006, 59 (2), 243-266
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp756

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Keywords: decomposition method; gender wage gaps;

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  1. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 609-29, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 8200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Edin, Per-Anders & Richardson, Katarina, 2002. " Swimming with the Tide: Solidary Wage Policy and the Gender Earnings Gap," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 49-67.
  5. Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1996. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions and the Gender Gap," Cahiers de recherche 9607, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-38, May.
  7. Edin, P.A. & Richardson, K., 1999. "Swemming with the Tide: Solidarity Wage Policy and the Gender Earnings Gap," Papers 1999:11, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  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. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
  10. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  11. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:539-559 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Francine Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The US Gender Pay Gap in the 1990s: Slowing Convergence," Working Papers 887, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Christophe J. Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2007. "Is There A Glass Ceiling in Morocco? Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Working Papers 0720, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2007.
  4. Asplund, Rita & Napari, Sami, 2011. "Intangibles and the gender wage gap: An analysis of gender wage gaps across occupations in the Finnish private sector," Discussion Papers 1243, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  5. Hübler, Olaf, 2003. "Geschlechtsspezifische Lohnunterschiede (Gender-specific wage differentials)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(4), pages 539-559.
  6. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Analysing trends in US and Danish gender wage gaps in the 1980s and 1990s," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(10), pages 643-647.
  7. Napari, Sami, 2009. "Gender differences in early-career wage growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 140-148, April.
  8. Rita Asplund & Sami Napari, 2011. "Intangibles and the Gender Wage Gap: An Analysis of Gender Wage Gaps Across Occupations in the Finnish Private Sector," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 305-325, December.

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