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The Gender Pay Gap for Private-Sector Employees in Canada and Britain

  • Marie Drolet
  • Karen Mumford

This paper uses British and Canadian linked employer-employee data to investigate the importance of the workplace for the gender wage gap. Implementing a novel decomposition approach, we find high levels of unexplained wage inequality in the private sector of both countries, which is related to women receiving relatively lower wages within workplaces than do men. Whilst this inequality is partially offset by women, on average, receiving a workplace specific return which is relatively higher than that paid to men, a substantial and significant unexplained within workplace wage gap remains which is considerably higher in Britain than in Canada. The results are consistent with a prima facie argument that country-specific factors, such as the wage setting environment, are important determinants in explaining the relative size of the gender wage gap.

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Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 529-553

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:50:y:2012:i:3:p:529-553
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  9. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  10. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," NBER Working Papers 7003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Mueller, Richard E., 1998. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Canada: evidence from quantile regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 229-235, August.
  15. Marie Drolet, 2002. "Can the workplace explain Canadian gender pay differentials?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 75-77.
  16. Linda Dickens, 2007. "The Road is Long: Thirty Years of Equality Legislation in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 463-494, 09.
  17. Tracy Regan & Ronald Oaxaca, 2009. "Work experience as a source of specification error in earnings models: implications for gender wage decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 463-499, April.
  18. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  19. John M. Abowd & John C. Haltiwanger & Julia I. Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employee-Employer Data for the United States," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2004-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  20. Daly, Anne & Kawaguchi, Akira & Meng, Xin & Mumford, Karen A., 2006. "The Gender Wage Gap in Four Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1921, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  22. Marie Drolet, 2002. "Can the Workplace Explain Canadian Gender Pay Differentials?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 41-63, May.
  23. Rhys Davies & Richard Welpton, 2008. "How Does Workplace Monitoring Affect the Gender Wage Differential? Analysis of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings and the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey - A Research Note," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(4), pages 732-749, December.
  24. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2004. "The gender earnings gap: effects of institutions and firms--a comparative study of French and Australian private firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 189-208, April.
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