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Gender Pay Gap Lower in Large Cities than in Rural Areas


  • Anne Busch
  • Elke Holst


For years, the difference between the gross hourly earnings of women and of men has remained constant for German white-collar employees at about 30 percent. It is obvious that regional factors play an important role in explaining this difference. In rural areas, the gender pay gap is especially pronounced (2006: 33 percent) while in metropolitan areas it is considerably lower than the average (2006: 12 percent). This more favorable ratio is mainly due to the increased employment opportunities for highly-qualified women in cities. In addition, it is evident that where there are high levels of regional unemployment at the county level, women's pay suffers more than men's. The present study was based on the data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Focusing on white-collar salaried employees (Angestellte) allows us to analyze pay determinants on the basis of largely homogenous pay structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Busch & Elke Holst, 2008. "Gender Pay Gap Lower in Large Cities than in Rural Areas," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 4(6), pages 36-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr4-6

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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Hirsch & Marion König & Joachim Möller, 2013. "Is There a Gap in the Gap? Regional Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(4), pages 412-439, September.
    2. Anne Busch & Elke Holst, 2009. "Glass Ceiling Effect and Earnings: The Gender Pay Gap in Managerial Positions in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 905, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Gender paygap; Metropolitan areas; Wage curve; Oaxaca-Blinder-decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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