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The Evolution of the Early Career Gender Wage Gap


  • Kunze, Astrid


In this Paper we investigate the male-female wage differential: Does it evolve over the early career or does it exist right from entry into first employment onwards? For the analysis we use new administrative longitudinal data and focus on the early careers of skilled workers in Germany. We adopt a simple human capital theory approach. Advantages of the data for this type of analysis are that we can observe complete work and wage histories, and that we are also able to observe workers' skills. Regarding entry wages we find a gap of approximately 25%. For the early career, ie up to eight years of work experience, the differential remains almost constant at this high level. We find that differences in apprenticeship training explain the main part of this gap and seem to lead to a permanent wage disadvantage throughout the early career.

Suggested Citation

  • Kunze, Astrid, 2002. "The Evolution of the Early Career Gender Wage Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 3242, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3242

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 1995. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 105-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    4. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "The Structure of the Female/Male Wage Differential: Is It Who You Are, What You Do, or Where You Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 457-472.
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    Cited by:

    1. Svenja Gärtner, 2013. "German Stagnation vs. Swedish Progression: Gender Wage Gaps in Comparison, 1960-2006," LIS Working papers 586, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:560-572 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Giorgio Brunello & Claudio Lucifora & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Wage Expectations of European Business and Economics Students," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    4. Beblo, Miriam & Wolf, Elke, 2003. "Sind es die Erwerbsunterbrechungen? : ein Erklärungsbeitrag zum Lohnunterschied zwischen Frauen und Männern in Deutschland (Is it the employment interruptions? * a contribution to explaining the wage ," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(4), pages 560-572.
    5. Casey Warman & Frances Woolley & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "The Evolution of Male-Female Wages Differentials in Canadian Universities: 1970-2001," Working Papers 1099, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    6. Giovanni Russo & Wolter Hassink, 2008. "The Part-Time Wage Gap: a Career Perspective," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 145-174, June.

    More about this item


    apprenticeship training; early career; human capital; male-female wage differentials; occupation; sample selection;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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