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Counterfactual Distributions with Sample Selection Adjustments: Econometric Theory and an Application to the Netherlands

Several recent papers use the quantile regression decomposition method of Machado and Mata (2005) to analyze the gender gap in log wages across the distribution. Since employment rates often differ substantially by gender, sample selection is potentially a serious issue for such studies. To address this issue, we extend the Machado-Mata technique to account for selection. In addition, we prove that this procedure yields consistent and asymptotically normal estimates of the quantiles of the counterfactual distribution that it is designed to simulate. We illustrate our approach by analyzing the gender log wage gap between men and women who work full time in the Netherlands. Because the fraction of women working full time in the Netherlands is quite low, this is a case in which sample selection is clearly important. We find a positive selection of women into full-time work and find that about two thirds of this selection is due to observables such as education and experience with the remainder due to unobservables. Our decompositions show that the majority of the gender gap across the log wage distribution is due to differences between men and women in the distributions of returns to labor market characteristics rather than to differences in the distributions of the characteristics themselves.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~07-07-06.

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Date of creation: 06 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~07-07-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Gaby Wunderlich, 2002. "Gender Wage Differences in West Germany: A Cohort Analysis," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(4), pages 379-414, November.
  2. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2004. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Sara Rica & Juan Dolado & Vanesa Llorens, 2008. "Ceilings or floors? Gender wage gaps by education in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 751-776, July.
  5. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "The dynamics of changes in the female wage distribution in the USA: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 1-30.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Meghir, Costas, 2004. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," IZA Discussion Papers 1350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Andrews, Donald W K & Schafgans, Marcia M A, 1998. "Semiparametric Estimation of the Intercept of a Sample Selection Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 497-517, July.
  8. Donald, Stephen G & Green, David A & Paarsch, Harry J, 2000. "Differences in Wage Distributions between Canada and the United States: An Application of a Flexible Estimator of Distribution Functions in the Presence of Covariates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 609-33, October.
  9. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Progress in the United States and Denmark," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521496032 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Dorothe Bonjour & Michael Gerfin, 2001. "The unequal distribution of unequal pay - An empirical analysis of the gender wage gap in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 407-427.
  12. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," NBER Working Papers 11628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Nidardo, J. & Fortin, N. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Papers 93-94-15, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  15. Ichimura, H., 1991. "Semiparametric Least Squares (sls) and Weighted SLS Estimation of Single- Index Models," Papers 264, Minnesota - Center for Economic Research.
  16. repec:dgr:uvatin:19980089 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  18. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  19. Mitali Das & Whitney K. Newey & Francis Vella, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Sample Selection Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 33-58, January.
  20. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  21. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
  22. Horowitz, Joel L., 2001. "The Bootstrap," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 52, pages 3159-3228 Elsevier.
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