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Counterfactual distributions with sample selection adjustments: Econometric theory and an application to the Netherlands

  • Albrecht, James
  • van Vuuren, Aico
  • Vroman, Susan

Several recent papers use the quantile regression decomposition method of Machado and Mata [Machado, J.A.F. and Mata, J. (2005). Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression, Journal of Applied Econometrics, 20, 445-65.] to analyze the gender gap across log wage distributions. In this paper, we prove that this procedure yields consistent and asymptotically normal estimates of the quantiles of the counterfactual distribution that it is designed to simulate. Since employment rates often differ substantially by gender, sample selection is potentially a serious issue for such studies. To address this issue, we extend the Machado-Mata technique to account for selection. We illustrate our approach to adjusting for sample selection by analyzing the gender log wage gap for full-time workers in the Netherlands.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 383-396

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:383-396
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," NBER Working Papers 11628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  3. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  4. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2007. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 323-363, 03.
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  6. Sara Rica & Juan Dolado & Vanesa Llorens, 2008. "Ceilings or floors? Gender wage gaps by education in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 777-778, July.
  7. Dorothe Bonjour & Michael Gerfin, 2001. "The unequal distribution of unequal pay - An empirical analysis of the gender wage gap in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 407-427.
  8. Berg, G.J. & Ridder, G., 1993. "An empirical equilibrium search model of the labour market," Serie Research Memoranda 0039, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  9. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  10. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  11. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Progress in the United States and Denmark," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
  12. Horowitz, Joel L., 2001. "The Bootstrap," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 52, pages 3159-3228 Elsevier.
  13. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2006. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 510, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  14. Donald, Stephen G & Green, David A & Paarsch, Harry J, 2000. "Differences in Wage Distributions between Canada and the United States: An Application of a Flexible Estimator of Distribution Functions in the Presence of Covariates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 609-33, October.
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  17. Andrews, Donald W K & Schafgans, Marcia M A, 1998. "Semiparametric Estimation of the Intercept of a Sample Selection Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 497-517, July.
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  19. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "The dynamics of changes in the female wage distribution in the USA: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 1-30.
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  21. Bernd Fitzenberger & Gaby Wunderlich, 2002. "Gender Wage Differences in West Germany: A Cohort Analysis," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(4), pages 379-414, November.
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