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Wage Differentials and Gender Discrimination - Changes in Sweden 1981-1998

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to follow the development of the Swedish gender earnings gap through the 1980s and 1990s. We follow the changes in the wage gap and in factors to which it can be related, step-by-step, and year-by- year. This is done by analysing cross sectional data from statistics Sweden (HINK) for the years 1981, 1983-1991 and 1993-1998. The preliminary results show that the unadjusted wage gap varied between 15-20 percent up to 1989 when the differentials began to increase. During the 90s the size of the gap was around 25 percent. There is an increase in the wage differentials between the 1980s and late 1990s. In a decomposition analysis we find that the measured differences in jobs and qualifications between women and men can account only for between two and three fifths of the gender wage gap, if they are assumed to be rewarded according to the wage function for men. If the female wage function is applied, considerably less of the differentials are explained. Differences in the educational requirements for jobs have contributed considerably to gender earnings inequality. The impact has, however, decreased over the period studied and is about half as large in the 1990s as it was in the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson, Mats & Katz, Katarina & Nyman, Håkan, 2001. "Wage Differentials and Gender Discrimination - Changes in Sweden 1981-1998," Research Papers in Economics 2001:15, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2001_0015
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    1. S.S. Gustafsson & M. Bruyn-Hundt, 1991. "Incentives for Women to Work: A Comparison between The Netherlands, Sweden and West Germany," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 18(5/6), pages 30-65, October.
    2. 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.
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    Keywords

    Gender differentials; wage differentiation; Swedish labour market discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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