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Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap

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  • Francine D. Blau

    (Cornell University, National Bureau of Economic Research, and CESifo)

  • Lawrence M. Kahn

    (Cornell University and CESifo)

Abstract

Using microdata for 22 countries over the 198594 period, we find that more compressed male wage structures and lower female net supply are both associated with a lower gender pay gap, with an especially large effect for wage structures. Reduced-form specifications indicate that the extent of collective bargaining coverage is also significantly negatively related to the gender pay gap. Together, the wage compression and collective bargaining results suggest that the high wage floors that are associated with highly centralized, unionized wage setting raise women's relative pay, since women are at the bottom of the wage distribution in each country.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:21:y:2003:i:1:p:106-144
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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