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Changes in the Gender Wage Gap in Germany during a Period of Rising Wage Inequality 1999-2006: Was it Discrimination in the Returns to Human Capital?

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  • Usamah Fayez Al-Farhan

Abstract

In this article I analyze the changes in the gender wage gap in the western region, eastern region and in reunified Germany during the period 1999 - 2006. I use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and implement two alternative decomposition methodologies; the Juhn, Murphy and Pierce (1991) decomposition, and a methodology that totally differences the Oaxaca-Blinder (1973) decomposition, found in Smith and Welch (1989). I conclude that most of the increase in the gender wage gap occurred during a period of remarkably risingwage inequality and argue that both trends are caused simultaneously by the same set of factors. Furthermore, German women were, on average, treated favorably in the returns to their educational attainment, potential experience and tenure compared men, and that the increasing gender wage gap was mainly due to changes in the gender differentials in human capital endowments, particularly worker's potential experience, changes in the gender distribution across industries, company sizes and occupational positions and to changes in discrimination in the returns to job-specific training.

Suggested Citation

  • Usamah Fayez Al-Farhan, 2010. "Changes in the Gender Wage Gap in Germany during a Period of Rising Wage Inequality 1999-2006: Was it Discrimination in the Returns to Human Capital?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 293, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp293
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Kluge & Michael Weber, 2015. "Decomposing the German East-West wage gap," ifo Working Paper Series 205, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wages; gaps; discrimination; decomposition; characteristics effect; coefficient effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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