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Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Exploring the Australian Gender Pay Gap using Quantile Regression and Counterfactual Decomposition Methods

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  • Hiau Joo Kee

Abstract

Using the HILDA survey, this paper analyses Australian gender wage gaps in both public and private sectors across the wage distribution. Quantile Regression (QR) techniques are used to control for various characteristics at different points of the wage distributions. Counterfactual decomposition analysis, adjusted for the QR framework, is utilised to examine if the gap is attributed to differences in gender characteristic, or differing returns between genders. The main finding is that a strong glass ceiling effect is detected only in the private sector. Secondly, the acceleration in the gender gap across the distribution does not vanish even after extensive controls. This suggests that the observed wage gap is a result of differences in returns to genders. By focussing only on the mean gender wage gap, substantial variations of the gap will be hidden.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiau Joo Kee, 2005. "Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Exploring the Australian Gender Pay Gap using Quantile Regression and Counterfactual Decomposition Methods," CEPR Discussion Papers 487, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:487
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP487.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Wage Mobility In The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 351-368, August.
    2. Langford, Malcolm S, 1995. "The Gender Wage Gap in the 1990s," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(64), pages 62-85, June.
    3. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 163-186, January.
    4. José A. F. Machado & José Mata, 2001. "Earning functions in Portugal 1982-1994: Evidence from quantile regressions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 115-134.
    5. Newey, Whitney K & Powell, James L & Walker, James R, 1990. "Semiparametric Estimation of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 324-328, May.
    6. Powell, James L., 1986. "Censored regression quantiles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 143-155, June.
    7. Kuhn, Peter J, 1987. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidenc e," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 567-583, September.
    8. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    9. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Krishna Pendakur & Ravi Pendakur, 2007. "Minority Earnings Disparity Across the Distribution," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(1), pages 41-62, March.
    2. Pendakur, Krishna & Pendakur, Ravi & Woodcock, Simon, 2006. "Glass Ceilings and Sticky Floors: A Representation Index," MPRA Paper 133, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    glass ceiling; sticky floor; quantile regression; public sector;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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