IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labor Force Attachment Really Matter?

Listed author(s):
  • Christophe J. Nordman
  • François Roubaud

In the labor economics literature, it has been argued that differences in labor force attachment across gender are important to explain the extent of the gender wage gap. However, measures of women's work experience are particularly prone to errors given discontinuity in labor market participation. Using proxy measures such as potential experience may lead to biased estimates of the returns to human capital. Such biases cannot be ignored since these returns are used in the standard decomposition techniques to measure the extent of gender-based wage discrimination. By matching two original surveys conducted in Madagascar in 1998-a labor force survey and a biographical survey-we built a unique data set that enabled us to combine the original information gathered from each of them, particularly the earnings from current employment and the entire professional trajectories. Our results lead to a reassessment of the returns to human capital as potential experience always exceeds actual experience for both males and females. By using actual experience, we obtain a significant increase in the portion of the gender earnings gap explained by observable characteristics, while the differences in average actual experience across sexes lead to markedly different estimates of the fraction of the gender gap explained by experience. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/598762
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (07)
Pages: 785-808

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:57:y:2009:i:4:p:785-808
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Bennell, Paul, 1996. "Rates of return to education: Does the conventional pattern prevail in sub-Saharan Africa?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 183-199, January.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? A Reassessment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
  3. Courgeau, Daniel & Lelievre, Eva, 1993. "Event History Analysis in Demography," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287384.
  4. Gronau, Reuben, 1988. "Sex-Related Wage Differentials and Women's Interrupted Labor Careers--The Chicken or the Egg," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 277-301, July.
  5. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
  6. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
  7. Tracy Regan & Ronald Oaxaca, 2009. "Work experience as a source of specification error in earnings models: implications for gender wage decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 463-499, April.
  8. Cling, Jean-Pierre & Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, Francois, 2005. "Export processing zones in Madagascar: a success story under threat?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 785-803, May.
  9. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-243, May.
  10. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2004. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences across Black, Mexican, and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  11. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  12. Dominique Meurs & Sophie Ponthieux, 2000. "Une mesure de la discrimination dans l'écart de salaire entre hommes et femmes," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 337(1), pages 135-158.
  13. François Bourguignon & Martin Fournier & Marc Gurgand, 2007. "Selection Bias Corrections Based On The Multinomial Logit Model: Monte Carlo Comparisons," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 174-205, 02.
  14. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  15. Steven H. Sandell & David Shapiro, 1980. "Work Expectations, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Wages of Young Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 335-353.
  16. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
  17. Christian Dustmann & María Engracia Rochina-Barrachina, 2007. "Selection correction in panel data models: An application to the estimation of females' wage equations," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 10(2), pages 263-293, 07.
  18. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  19. World Bank, 2001. "Education and Training in Madagascar : Towards a Policy Agenda for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction, Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15514, The World Bank.
  20. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  21. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-154, January.
  22. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  23. T.D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 1998. "Gender Wage Discrimination Bias? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 947-973.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:57:y:2009:i:4:p:785-808. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.