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The labor market gender gap in Denmark: Sorting out the past 30 years

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  • Gallen, Yana
  • Lesner, Rune V.
  • Vejlin, Rune

Abstract

We document the declining gap between the average earnings of women and men in Denmark from 1980 to 2010. The decline in the earnings gap is driven by increases in hours worked by women as well as a decline in the gender wage gap. The data show a great deal of segregation across education tracks, occupations, and even workplaces, but this segregation has declined since 1980. These changes in segregation have been accompanied by a reduction in the role of observables in explaining the gender wage gap. The residual gender wage gap has been constant since 1980. The hours gap is not affected by changes in segregation at the occupation and education level: differences in these characteristics for women relative to men do not contribute to the hours gap in 2010 and they did not in 1980. However, a firm-worker fixed effects analysis suggests that 30 percent of the gender hours gap can be explained by the sorting of women into lower-hours workplaces. The hours gap is driven by mothers, the group for whom differences in employer, occupation, education, and experience also imply large differences in wages. The combined effect of hours and wages is a more than 20 percent gender earnings gap among well-attached (halftime-plus) workers between 25 and 60 years old, 10 percent of which cannot be explained by differences in hours, or in the readily observable characteristics of these workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gallen, Yana & Lesner, Rune V. & Vejlin, Rune, 2019. "The labor market gender gap in Denmark: Sorting out the past 30 years," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 58-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:56:y:2019:i:c:p:58-67
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2018.11.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Niels-Jakob Harbo Hansen & Karl Harmenberg & Erik Öberg & Hans Henrik Sievertsen, 2021. "Gender disparities in top earnings: measurement and facts for Denmark 1980-2013," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(2), pages 347-362, June.
    2. Jaanika Meriküll & Maryna Tverdostup, 2020. "The Gap That Survived The Transition: The Gender Wage Gap Over Three Decades In Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 127, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    3. Sarah Louise Jewell & Giovanni Razzu & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Who Works for Whom and the UK Gender Pay Gap," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(1), pages 50-81, March.
    4. Jiang Li & Benoit Dostie & Gäelle Simard-Duplain, 2020. "What is the Role of Firm-Specific Pay Policies on the Gender Earnings Gap in Canada?," CIRANO Working Papers 2020s-67, CIRANO.
    5. Dostie, Benoit & Li, Jiang & Card, David & Parent, Daniel, 2020. "Employer Policies and the Immigrant-Native Earnings Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 13245, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Henri Luomarant & Fernando Cantu & Steve MacFeely & Anu Peltola, . "The role of multinational and trading enterprises in employment and the gender pay gap: evidence from Finland," UNCTAD Transnational Corporations Journal, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    7. Jaan Masso & Jaanika Meriküll & Priit Vahter, 2020. "The Role Of Firms In The Gender Wage Gap," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 120, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    8. Martínez-Correa, Jimmy & Andersen, Steffen & d’Astous, Philippe & H. Shore, Stephen, 2020. "Cross-Program Differences in Returns to Education and the Gender Earnings Gap," Working papers 48, Red Investigadores de Economía.
    9. Ramskogler, Paul & Riedl, Aleksandra & Schoiswohl, Florian, 2020. "Swinging female labor demand – How the public sector influences gender wage gaps in Europe," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 302, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    10. Yana Gallen, 2018. "Motherhood and the Gender Productivity Gap," Working Papers 2018-091, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    11. Yolanda F. Rebollo-Sanz & Sara de la Rica, 2020. "From gender gaps in skills to gender gaps in wages: Evidence from PIAAC," Working Papers 20.09, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender pay gap; Sorting;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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