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Gender Wage Gaps, ‘Sticky Floors’ and ‘Glass Ceilings’ in Europe

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  • Louis N. Christofides
  • Alexandros Polycarpou
  • Konstantinos Vrachimis

Abstract

We consider and attempt to understand the gender wage gap across 26 European countries, using 2007 data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. The size of the gender wage gap varies considerably across countries, definitions of the gap, and selection-correction mechanisms. Most of the gap cannot be explained by the characteristics available in this data set. Quantile regressions show that, in a number of countries, the wage gap is wider at the top (‘glass ceilings’) and/or at the bottom of the wage distribution (‘sticky floors’). We find larger mean/median gender gaps and more evidence of glass ceilings for full-time full-year employees, suggesting more female disadvantage in ‘better’ jobs. These features may be related to country-specific policies that cannot be evaluated at the individual country level, at a point in time. We use the cross-country variation in the unexplained wage gaps of this larger-than-usual sample of states to explore the influence of (i) country policies that reconcile work and family life and (ii) their wage-setting institutions. We find that country policies and institutions are related to features of their unexplained gender wage gaps in systematic, quantitatively important, ways.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 02-2013.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:02-2013

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Web page: http://www.econ.ucy.ac.cy

Related research

Keywords: Gender wage gap; Selection; Quantiles; Work-family reconciliation; Wage-setting institutions;

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Cited by:
  1. Eva Olimpia Arceo Gómez & Raymundo Campos-Vázquez, 2013. "Evolución de la Brecha Salarial de Género en México," Working papers DTE 556, CIDE, División de Economía.
  2. SELEZNEVA Ekaterina & VAN KERM Philippe, 2013. "Inequality-adjusted gender wage differentials in Germany," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-18, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  3. VAN KERM Philippe & YU Seunghee & CHOE Chung, 2014. "Wage differentials between native, immigrant and cross-border workers: Evidence and model comparisons," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2014-05, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Grund, Christian, 2014. "Gender Pay Gaps among Highly Educated Professionals: Compensation Components Do Matter," IZA Discussion Papers 8112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Christos Koutsampelas, 2012. "Aspects of Elderly Poverty in Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 6(1), pages 69-89, June.

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