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Gender and the Labour Market: An International Perspective and the Case of Italy


  • Claudia Olivetti

    () (Boston University and NBER)


This paper provides an overview of the literature on international differences in the gender wage gap. It then focuses on the Italian case and analyzes differentials in gender wage and employment gaps across regions. The cross-regional variation reproduces the negative correlation between gender wage and employment gaps observed at the cross-country level. Using the methodology in Olivetti and Petrongolo (2008), the paper shows the importance of regional differentials in sample selection induced by non-employment in accounting for this phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Olivetti, 2008. "Gender and the Labour Market: An International Perspective and the Case of Italy," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(3), pages 3-32, May-June.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:3-32

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 45-66, October.
    2. Boeri, Tito & Del Boca, Daniela & Pissarides, Christopher (ed.), 2005. "Women at Work: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199281886.
    3. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 621-654, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Barbara Petrongolo, 2004. "Gender Segregation in Employment Contracts," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 331-345, 04/05.
    6. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
    7. Edin, Per-Anders & Richardson, Katarina, 2002. " Swimming with the Tide: Solidary Wage Policy and the Gender Earnings Gap," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 49-67.
    8. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    9. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    10. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "The mismatch between employment and child care in Italy: the impact of rationing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 805-832, October.
    11. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap among Women Is Too Small," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 1-28, February.
    12. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    13. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    14. Juan J. Dolado & Florentino Felgueroso & Juan F. Jimeno., "undated". "Recent Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender: A Look Across the Atlantic," Working Papers 2002-11, FEDEA.
    15. 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.
    16. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    17. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 29-62, Suppl..
    18. Christopher Pissarides & Pietro Garibaldi & Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Women in the Labour Force : How Well is Europe Doing ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9081, Sciences Po.
    19. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01gb19f581g is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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