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German Wage Underpayment: An Investigation into Labor Market Inefficiency and Discrimination

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  • Peter Dawson
  • Timothy Hinks
  • Duncan Watson

Abstract

Using stochastic panel wage frontiers, this paper estimates the relative underpayment of females and males in the reunified Germany. The estimates are initially applied to discrimination analysis. It finds that females have higher underpayment and that the male-female differential increased over the period 1991-1993. However, the paper suggests that the estimates of underpayment reflect other concerns, such as dynamic monopsony. Labor market inefficiency must be taken into account before discrimination analysis is possible.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Dawson & Timothy Hinks & Duncan Watson, 2001. "German Wage Underpayment: An Investigation into Labor Market Inefficiency and Discrimination," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 107-114.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:70-10-16
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    File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.70.1.107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
    2. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-308, May.
    3. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    4. Bergmann, Barbara R, 1981. "The Economic Risks of Being a Housewife," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 81-86, May.
    5. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    6. Jennifer Hunt, 2002. "The Transition in East Germany: When Is a Ten-Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, January.
    7. Mick Brookes & Timothy Hinks & Duncan Watson, 2001. "Comparisons in Gender Wage Differentials and Discrimination between Germany and the United Kingdom," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(3), pages 393-414, September.
    8. Dijk, Jouke van, 1998. "Differences in underemployment between the United States and the Netherlands," Research Report 98D26, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    9. 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.
    10. Polachek,Solomon W. & Siebert,W. Stanley, 1993. "The Economics of Earnings," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521367288.
    11. Black, B & Trainor, M & Spencer, J E, 1999. "Wage Protection Systems, Segregation and Gender Pay Inequalities: West Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 449-464, July.
    12. Knut Gerlach, 1987. "A Note on Male-Female Wage Differences in West Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(4), pages 584-592.
    13. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
    14. Hofler, Richard A & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Underpaid and Overworked: Measuring the Effect of Imperfect Information on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 511-529, July.
    15. repec:dgr:rugsom:98d26 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
    17. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
    18. Duncan Watson, 2000. "UK wage underpayment: implications for the minimum wage," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 429-440.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ma Ángeles Díaz & Rosario Sánchez, 2011. "Gender and potential wage in Europe: a stochastic frontier approach," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 410-425, July.
    2. Khalid Maman Waziri, 2017. "Generalized Glass Ceilings in the United States – A Stochastic Metafrontier Approach," Working Papers halshs-01569834, HAL.
    3. M. Ángeles Díaz & Rosario Sánchez, 2013. "Young Workers, Marital Status And Wage Gap," Revista de Economia Aplicada, Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Estructura Economica y Economia Publica, vol. 21(1), pages 57-70, Spring.

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