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The gender gap in early-career wage growth

  • Alan Manning
  • Joanna Swaffield

In the UK the gender pay gap on entry to the labour market is approximately zero but ten years after labour market entry, there is a gender wage gap of almost 25 log points. This article explores the reason for this gender gap in early-career wage growth, considering three main hypotheses - human capital, job-shopping and 'psychological' theories. Human capital factors can explain about 11 log points, job-shopping about 1.5 log points and the psychological theories up to 4.5 log points depending on the specification. But a substantial unexplained gap remains: women who have continuous full-time employment, have had no children and express no desire to have them earn about 8 log points less than equivalent men after 10 years in the labour market. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 530 (07)
Pages: 983-1024

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:530:p:983-1024
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