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The increase of the gender wage gap in Italy during the 2008-2012 economic crisis

Author

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  • Daniela Piazzalunga

    () (University of Turin, Italy)

  • Maria Laura Di Tommaso

    () (University of Turin, Italy)

Abstract

The paper examines the gender wage gap in Italy during the 2008-2012 economic crisis, using cross-sectional EU-SILC data. The gender wage gap increased from 4\% in 2008 to 8\% in 2012, while for most European countries the gap decreased over the same period. After 2010 the growth of the Italian gender wage gap (and its unexplained component) was particularly high in the upper part of the wage distribution. In 2010-2011 a wage freeze in the public sector was introduced as an austerity measure, and the average public sector premium dropped from 15\% to 11\%. Using counterfactual analyses, we show that the wage freeze has been one of the major causes of the growth of the gender wage gap, disproportionately affecting women, who are more likely to be employed in the public sector. This `policy effect' accounts for more than 100\% of the increase between 2009 and 2011, while other changes, if anything, would have reduced the gender gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Piazzalunga & Maria Laura Di Tommaso, 2015. "The increase of the gender wage gap in Italy during the 2008-2012 economic crisis," Working Papers 381, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2015-381
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Piazzalunga, 2018. "The Gender Wage Gap Among College Graduates in Italy," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 4(1), pages 33-90, March.
    2. Töpfer, Marina, 2017. "Detailed RIF Decomposition with Selection - The Gender Pay Gap in Italy," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168422, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa & Töpfer, Marina, 2017. "The convergence of the gender pay gap: An alternative estimation approach," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 14-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Töpfer, Marina, 2018. "The age pay gap and labor market heterogeneity: A new empirical approach using data for Italy," Discussion Papers 105, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    5. Töpfer, Marina, 2017. "Detailed RIF decomposition with selection: The gender pay gap in Italy," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 26-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender wage gap; Great Recession; public sector premium; decomposition; counterfactual analysis.;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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