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Islands through the glass ceiling? Evidence of gender wage gaps in Madagascar and Mauritius


  • Christophe Nordman

    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • François-Charles Wolff

    (LEN, Université de Nantes, CNAV, INED)


(english) Using matched employer-employee data collected in Mauritius and Madagascar in 2005, we add new evidence on the magnitude of the gender wage gap and on the relevance of the glass ceiling hypothesis recently observed in developed countries. We focus more closely on the role of firm characteristics and job segregation across firms as potential factors explaining the gender wage gap. While the magnitude of the adjusted gender gap is almost insignificant in Madagascar and quite high in Mauritius, our results show that accounting for firm heterogeneity in the analysis is important for both islands. We highlight that these firm effects are the result of gender segregation across firms, i.e. the existence of high paying firms for men and low paying firms for women. In addition, there is no compelling evidence of a glass ceiling phenomenon in both islands. This comparative study then suggests that there is a high heterogeneity in Africa with respect to the situation of women in the formal labor market._______________________________________________________________________________A l’aide de données appariées employeurs-employés du secteur formel collectées à l’île Maurice et à Madagascar en 2005, nous estimons l’ampleur de l’écart salarial selon le genre et testons la pertinence de l’hypothèse de plafond de verre récemment observée dans les pays développés. Nous nous intéressons particulièrement aux caractéristiques des entreprises et à la ségrégation professionnelle au sein des firmes en tant que possible déterminants de l’écart salarial entre les sexes. Alors que l’écart salarial ajusté des caractéristiques individuelles est faible à Madagascar, et relativement élevé à l’île Maurice, nos résultats montrent que la prise en compte de l’hétérogénéité des entreprises dans l’analyse est importante pour les deux îles. Nous mettons en évidence que ces effets d’entreprise sont le résultat d’une ségrégation de genre entre les entreprises, c’est-à-dire qu’il existerait des entreprises versant de hauts salaires pour les hommes et des entreprises à bas salaires pour les femmes. En outre, nous n’observons pas de phénomène de plafond de verre sur les revenus pour ces deux pays. Cette étude comparative suggère finalement qu’il existe une forte hétérogénéité en Afrique en ce qui concerne la situation des femmes sur le marché du travail formel.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2008. "Islands through the glass ceiling? Evidence of gender wage gaps in Madagascar and Mauritius," Working Papers DT/2008/02, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200802

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    Cited by:

    1. Khayria Karoui & Rochdi Feki, 2018. "Does gender inequality reduce growth and development economique? Evidence for a panel from African countries," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(5), pages 2055-2061, September.
    2. Christophe Nordman & Faly Rakotomanana & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2009. "Gender Disparities in the Malagasy Labour Market," Working Papers DT/2009/08, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. Christophe J. Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2009. "Gender differences in pay in African manufacturing firms," Working Papers hal-00421227, HAL.
    4. Giulia La Mattina & Gabriel Picone & Alban Ahoure & Jose Carlos Kimou, 2017. "Female leaders and gender gaps within the firm: Evidence from three sub-Saharan African countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 063, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Christophe Nordman & Leopold R. Sarr & Smriti Sharma, 2015. "Cognitive, Non-Cognitive Skills and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data in Bangladesh," Working Papers DT/2015/19, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10593 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christophe Nordman & Julia Vaillant, 2013. "Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar," Working Papers DT/2013/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    8. Christophe Muller & Christophe J. Nordman, 2008. "Intra-Firm Human Capital Externalities in Tunisia," THEMA Working Papers 2008-38, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

    More about this item


    Gender wage gap; glass ceiling; quantile regressions; matched worker-firm data; Africa; Ecart salarial selon le genre; plafond de verre; régressions de quantiles; données appariées; employeurs-employés; Afrique.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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