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Swimming With the Tide: Solidarity Wage Policy and the Gender Earnings Gap

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  • Edin, Per-Anders

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Richardson, Katarina

    () (Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of wage compression for the gender wage gap in Sweden during the period 1968-1991. We find that the effects of changes in the wage structure on women’s wages have varied over time and have had partly counteracting effects. Changes in industry wage differentials have systematically worked against women, while the changes in the returns to human capital and unobserved characteristics have contributed to reductions in the gender wage gap. Changes in the wage structure were particularly important between 1968 and 1974 when the reduction of overall wage inequality was dramatic. In 1981, however, the wage compression effect accounted only for a minor proportion of women's relative wage gains, as compared to 1974. At this time, women gained in relative wages mainly because discrimination was mitigated and/or the gender gap in unobserved skills was reduced. Between 1981 and 1991 there is a small increase in the gender wage gap. This small increase seems to have been driven by changed inter-industry wage differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Edin, Per-Anders & Richardson, Katarina, 1999. "Swimming With the Tide: Solidarity Wage Policy and the Gender Earnings Gap," Working Paper Series 1999:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1999_011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 29-62, Suppl..
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    Cited by:

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 45-66, October.
    2. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2007. "Labor market institutions and demographic employment patterns," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 833-867, October.
    3. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:789-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    5. Svenja Gärtner, 2013. "German Stagnation vs. Swedish Progression: Gender Wage Gaps in Comparison, 1960-2006," LIS Working papers 586, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    6. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    7. Brenda Gannon & Robert Plasman & Francois Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2007. "Inter-Industry Wage Differentials and the Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from European Countries," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 135-155.
    8. Hipólito Simón, 2012. "The gender gap in earnings: an international comparison with European matched employer--employee data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(15), pages 1985-1999, May.
    9. Tatiana Damjanovic & Geethanjali Selvaretnam, 2015. "Economic Growth and Evolution of Gender Equality," Working Papers 2015_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    10. Susilo, Yusak & Liu, Chengxi & Börjesson, Maria, 2018. "The changes of activity-travel participation across gender, life-cycle, and generations in Sweden over 30 years," Working papers in Transport Economics 2018:8, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    11. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 835-847, October.
    12. Elisabeth Hermann Frederiksen, 2006. "An Equilibrium Analysis of the Gender Wage Gap," EPRU Working Paper Series 06-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    13. Boris Kaiser, 2016. "Decomposing differences in arithmetic means: a doubly robust estimation approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 873-899, May.
    14. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Mette Verner, 2008. "PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE: The impact of Nordic countries’ family friendly policies on employment, wages, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, March.
    15. Özcan, Gülay, 2010. "Sector Differences in Glass Ceiling in Sweden -Is It Tied to Occupational Segregation?," Research Papers in Economics 2010:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    16. Jane Waldfogel & Susan Harkness, 1999. "The Family Gap in Pay: Evidence from Seven Industrialized Countries," LIS Working papers 219, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    17. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2008. "An Experimental Study of Sex Segregation in the Swedish Labour Market: Is Discrimination the Explanation?," IZA Discussion Papers 3811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. 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.
    19. Henz, Ursula & Sundström, Marianne, 2001. "Partner Choice and Women's Paid Work in Sweden - The Role of Earnings," Working Paper Series 1/2000, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    20. Claudia Olivetti, 2008. "Gender and the Labour Market: An International Perspective and the Case of Italy," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(3), pages 3-32, May-June.
    21. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2015. "Wage compression and the gender pay gap," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 150-150, April.
    22. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Smith, Nina, 2003. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Positions in the U.S. and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 756, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    23. Johansson, Mats & Katz, Katarina, 2007. "Wage differences between women and men in Sweden - the impact of skill mismatch," Working Paper Series 2007:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    24. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina & Verner, Mette, 2006. "Child Care and Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries: A Model to Aspire to?," IZA Discussion Papers 2014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    25. Dominique Meurs & Sophie Ponthieux, 2006. "L'écart des salaires entre les femmes et les hommes peut-il encore baisser ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 398(1), pages 99-129.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender wage differentials; trade union; wage structure;

    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
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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