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

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  • Robert Breunig
  • Sandrine Rospabe

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Breunig & Sandrine Rospabe, 2007. "Parametric vs. Semi-parametric Estimation of the Male-Female Wage Gap: An Application to France," CEPR Discussion Papers 548, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:548
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP548.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, July.
    6. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-243, May.
    7. 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. Gurleen Popli, 2008. "Gender wage discrimination in Mexico: A distributional approach," Working Papers 2008006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2008.
    2. Juan D. Barón & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, June.
    3. Dileni Gunewardena & Darshi Abeyrathna & Amalie Ellagala & Kamani Rajakaruna & Shobana Rajendran, 2008. "Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors or Sticky Doors? A Quantile Regression Approach to Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka," Working Papers PMMA 2008-04, PEP-PMMA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender pay gap; sticky floors; glass ceilings; semi-parametric estimation;

    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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