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Parametric vs. Semi-parametric Estimation of the Male-Female Wage Gap: An Application to France

  • Robert Breunig
  • Sandrine Rospabe

We use a semi-parametric method to decompose the difference in male and female wage densities into two parts-one explained by characteristics and one which is attributable to differences in returns to characteristics. We demonstrate that one learns substantially more about the gender wage gap in France through this analysis than through standard parametric techniques. In particular, we find that there are no unexplained differences in male and female earning distributions in the bottom fifth of the data. Occupation and part-time status are the most important determinants of the wage gap for all workers. In the semi-parametric estimates we find that education plays no role in the wage gap once we account for occupation and part-time status.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 548.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:548
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  8. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2004. "The gender earnings gap: effects of institutions and firms--a comparative study of French and Australian private firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 189-208, April.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, October.
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