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Bad Karma or Discrimination? Male–Female Wage Gaps Among Salaried Workers in India

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  • Deshpande, Ashwini
  • Goel, Deepti
  • Khanna, Shantanu

Abstract

We use nationally representative data from the Employment–Unemployment Surveys in 1999–2000 and 2009–10 to explore gender wage gaps among Regular Wage/Salaried (RWS) workers in India, both at the mean, as well as along the entire wage distribution to see “what happens where”. The gender log wage gap at the mean is 55% in 1999–2000 and 49% in 2009–10, but this change is not statistically significant. The Blinder–Oaxaca and the Machado–Mata–Melly decompositions indicate that, in both years, the bulk of the gender wage gap is unexplained, i.e., possibly discriminatory. They also reveal that over the decade, while the wage-earning characteristics of women improved relative to men, the discriminatory component of the gender wage gap also increased. In fact, in 2009–10, if women were “paid like men”, they would have earned more than men on account of their characteristics. In both years, we see the existence of the “sticky floor”, in that gender wage gaps are higher among low-wage earners and lower for high-wage earners. Over the ten-year period, we find that the sticky floor became “stickier” for RWS women. Machado–Mata–Melly decompositions reveal that, in both years, women at the lower end of the wage distribution face higher discriminatory gaps compared to women at the upper end.

Suggested Citation

  • Deshpande, Ashwini & Goel, Deepti & Khanna, Shantanu, 2018. "Bad Karma or Discrimination? Male–Female Wage Gaps Among Salaried Workers in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 331-344.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:331-344
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.07.012
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashwini Deshpande & Smriti Sharma, 2016. "Disadvantage and discrimination in self-employment: caste gaps in earnings in Indian small businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 325-346, February.
    2. Shantanu Khanna & Deepti Goel & René Morissette, 2016. "Decomposition analysis of earnings inequality in rural India: 2004–2012," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, December.
    3. Khanna, Shantanu & Goel, Deepti & Morissette, René, 2016. "Decomposition Analysis of Earnings Inequality in Rural India: 2004-2012," IZA Discussion Papers 9974, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender; wage differentials; gender discrimination; India;

    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
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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