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A Stata implementation of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition

  • Ben Jann

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The counterfactual decomposition technique popularized by Blinder (1973) and Oaxaca (1973) is widely used to study mean outcome differences between groups. For example, the technique is often used to analyze wage gaps by sex or race. The present paper summarizes the technique and addresses a number of complications such as the identification of effects of categorical predictors in the detailed decomposition or the estimation of standard errors. A new Stata command called -oaxaca- is introduced and examples illustrating its usage are given.

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File URL: http://repec.ethz.ch/ets/papers/jann_oaxaca.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2008
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Paper provided by ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology in its series ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers with number 5.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 05 May 2008
Date of revision: 14 May 2008
Handle: RePEc:ets:wpaper:5
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socio.ethz.ch/

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  1. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H, 1986. "Sample Selection and Male-Female Earnings Differentials in the Graduate Labour Market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 317-41, July.
  2. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
  3. Ugidos Olazabal, Arantza & Gardeazabal, Javier, 2002. "More on Identification on Detailed Wage Decompositions," DFAEII Working Papers 2002-17, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  4. Weichselbaumer, Doris & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 4127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kennedy, Peter, 1986. "Interpreting Dummy Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 174-75, February.
  6. T.D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 1998. "Gender Wage Discrimination Bias? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 947-973.
  7. John Hendrickx, 2000. "Using categorical variables in Stata," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(52).
  8. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2007:i:6:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. F. L. Jones, 1983. "On Decomposing the Wage Gap: A Critical Comment on Blinder's Method," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 126-130.
  11. Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2000. "Wage discrimination in Zambia: an extension of the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(6), pages 405-408.
  12. Suits, Daniel B, 1984. "Dummy Variables: Mechanics v. Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 177-80, February.
  13. William C. Horrace & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2001. "Inter-Industry Wage Differentials and the Gender Wage Gap: An Identification Problem," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 611-618, April.
  14. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-43, May.
  15. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896.
  16. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  18. Shoshana Neuman & Ronald Oaxaca, 2004. "Wage Decompositions with Selectivity-Corrected Wage Equations: A Methodological Note," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 3-10, April.
  19. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  20. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, . "Inter-Industry and Inter-Region Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," Working Papers 9504, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
  21. F. L. Jones & Jonathan Kelley, 1984. "Decomposing Differences between Groups," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 12(3), pages 323-343, February.
  22. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2007:i:66:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Keshab Shrestha & Chris Sakellariou, 1996. "Wage discrimination: a statistical test," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(10), pages 649-651.
  24. Jacques Silber & Michal Weber, 1999. "Labour market discrimination: are there significant differences between the various decomposition procedures?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 359-365.
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