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Gender wage gap in expectations and realizations

  • Filippin, Antonio
  • Ichino, Andrea

This paper explores the extent to which the gender wage gap is anticipated by workers' expectations. Data collected among second year students of Bocconi University convey information about their wage expectations. Detailed controls allow a clean matching with a sample of Bocconi graduates providing information about their actual wages. The evidence shows that the gender gap implied by students' expectations one year after graduation is consistent with the gender gap implied by the earnings of their elder counterparts. There is instead a misperception of the gender gap later in the career after graduation because students expect the gender gap to be roughly constant while realizations indicate an increasing gap with experience, particularly for the relatively less skilled worker. There is also evidence that the gender gap at the beginning of a career is particularly high in the most recent cohorts and lower in the previous ones. Finally, our results suggest that the careers of females are characterized by "glass ceilings" in particular at high skill levels, and by "sticky floors" at the opposite end of the skill spectrum.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 125-145

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:12:y:2005:i:1:p:125-145
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Kunze, Astrid, 2002. "Gender Differences in Entry Wages and Early Career Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  3. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Changes in the distribution of male and female wages accounting for employment composition using bounds," IFS Working Papers W04/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Stewart, Mark B, 1982. "On Least Squares Estimation when the Dependent Variable is Grouped," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 207, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
  6. Antonio Filippin, 2003. "Discrimination and workers' expectations: experimental evidence," Departmental Working Papers 2003-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  7. Gubta, Nabanita Datta & Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Trends in the U.S. and Danish Gender Wage Gaps," CLS Working Papers 01-6, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
  8. Filippin, Antonio, 2003. "Discrimination and Workers' Expectations," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 78, Royal Economic Society.
  9. Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," IZA Discussion Papers 299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Christopher L. Erikson & Andrea Ichino, 1994. "Wage Differentials in Italy: Market Forces, Institutions, and Inflation," NBER Working Papers 4922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  12. Richard Breen & Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa, 2002. "Bayesian Learning and Gender Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 899-922, October.
  13. Loprest, Pamela J, 1992. "Gender Differences in Wage Growth and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 526-32, May.
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