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Decomposing the Gender Wage Gap with Sample Selection Adjustment: Evidence from Colombia

  • Alejandro Badel

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Ximena Peña

    ()

    (Universidad de Los Andes)

Despite the remarkable improvement of female labor market characteristics, a sizeable gender wage gap exists in Colombia. We employ quantile regression techniques to examine the degree to which current small differences in the distribution of observable characteristics can explain the gender gap. We find that the gap is largely explained by gender differences in the rewards to labor market characteristics and not by differences in the distribution of characteristics. We claim that Colombian women experience both a “glass ceiling effect’’ and also (what we call) a “quicksand floor effect” because gender differences in returns to characteristics primarily affect women at the top and the bottom of the distribution. Also, self selection into the labor force is crucial for gender gaps: if all women participated in the labor force, the observed gap would be roughly 50% larger at all quantiles.

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Article provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its journal Revista de Analisis Economico.

Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (Diciembre)
Pages: 169-191

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Handle: RePEc:ila:anaeco:v:25:y:2010:i:2:p:169-191
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  9. De la Rica Goiricelaya, Sara & Dolado, Juan J. & Llorens, Vanessa, 2005. "Ceilings and Floors? Gender Wage Gaps by Education in Spain," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  10. Carneiro, Pedro & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long Run Outcomes of Children," IZA Discussion Papers 5793, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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