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Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labour Force Attachment Really Matter?

  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil
  • Roubaud, François

Differences in labour force attachment across gender are important to explain the extent of the gender earnings gap. However, measures of women's professional experience are particularly prone to errors given discontinuity in labour market participation. For instance, the classical Mincerian approach uses potential experience as a proxy for actual experience due to lack of appropriate data. Such biases in the estimates cannot be ignored since the returns to human capital are used in the standard decomposition techniques to measure the extent of gender-based wage discrimination. Matching two original surveys conducted in Madagascar in 1998 - a labour force survey and a biographical survey enabled us to combine the original information gathered from each of them, particularly the earnings from current employment and the entire professional trajectories. Our results lead to an upward reappraisal of returns to experience, as potential experience always exceeds actual experience, for both males and females. In addition, controlling for further qualitative aspects of labour force attachment, we obtain a significant increase in the portion of the gender gap explained by observable characteristics.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4400.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Publication status: Published in Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2009, Vol. 57, no. 4. pp. 785-808.Length: 23 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4400
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