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The Gender Wage Gap in Europe: Job Preferences, Gender Convergence and Distributional Effects

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  • Redmond, Paul

    (ESRI, Dublin)

  • McGuinness, Seamus

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

Abstract

The gender wage gap has declined in magnitude over time; however, the gap that remains is largely unexplained due to gender convergence in key wage determining characteristics. In this paper we show that the degree of gender convergence differs across countries in Europe. Most, if not all, of the wage gap is unexplained in some countries, predominantly in Eastern Europe, while in some central and peripheral countries, differences between the characteristics of males and females can still explain a relatively large proportion of the wage gap. We investigate whether gender differences relating to job preferences play a role in explaining the gender wage gap. We find that females are more motivated than males to find a job that is closer to home and offers job security, whereas males are motivated by financial gain. The average gender wage differential in Europe is 12.2 percent and gender differences in job preferences are associated with a 1.3 percentage point increase in the wage gap. We find that preferences explain more of the gender wage gap than the individual components relating to age, tenure and previous employment status. A quantile decomposition reveals that job preferences play a greater role in explaining the wage gap at the top of the wage distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Redmond, Paul & McGuinness, Seamus, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap in Europe: Job Preferences, Gender Convergence and Distributional Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 10933, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10933
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    2. Nicola Gagliardi & Benoît Mahy & François Rycx, 2021. "Upstreamness, Wages and Gender: Equal Benefits for All?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(1), pages 52-83, March.
    3. Paul Redmond & Seamus McGuinness, 2020. "Explaining the gender gap in job satisfaction," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(17), pages 1415-1418, October.
    4. Thomas Skora & Heiko Rüger & Nico Stawarz, 2020. "Commuting and the Motherhood Wage Gap: Evidence from Germany," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(14), pages 1-19, July.
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    6. Clark, Andrew E. & D’Ambrosio, Conchita & Zhu, Rong, 2021. "Job quality and workplace gender diversity in Europe," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 420-432.
    7. Aedín Doris, 2019. "Ireland’s Gender Wage Gap, Past and Present," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 50(4), pages 667-681.
    8. Bredemeier, Christian, 2019. "Gender Gaps in Pay and Inter-Firm Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 12785, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Leiv Opstad, 2021. "Is there a Trade-Off between Financial Rewards and Other Job Benefits? Different Career Pathways for two Groups of Management Students," International Journal of Social Sciences, European Research Center, vol. 10(2), pages 15-30, September.
    10. Zhaowen Liu & Martin de Jong & Fen Li & Nikki Brand & Marcel Hertogh & Liang Dong, 2020. "Towards Developing a New Model for Inclusive Cities in China—The Case of Xiong’an New Area," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(15), pages 1-24, July.
    11. Nolan, Anne & Whelan, Adele & McGuinness, Seamus & Maître, Bertrand, 2019. "Gender, pensions and income in retirement," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS87.
    12. Aswini Kumar Mishra & Vedant Bhardwaj, 2021. "Wealth distribution and accounting for changes in wealth inequality: empirical evidence from India, 1991–2012," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 585-620, May.
    13. Henrik Hansen & S Kanayade & John Rand & Neda Trifkovic, 2021. "Workplace training in Myanmar: Determinants and wage returns," DERG working paper series 21-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Development Economics Research Group (DERG).
    14. Gashi Ardiana & Adnett Nick, 2020. "Are Women Really Paid More than Men in Kosovo? Unpicking the Evidence," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 15(2), pages 83-95, December.
    15. Delaney, Judith M. & Devereux, Paul J., 2019. "Understanding gender differences in STEM: Evidence from college applications✰," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 219-238.
    16. Walsh, Brendan & Wren, Maev-Ann & Smith, Samantha & Lyons, Seán & Eighan, James & Morgenroth, Edgar, 2019. "An analysis of the effects on Irish hospital care of the supply of care inside and outside the hospital," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS91.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Oaxaca; job motives; gender wage gap; quantile decomposition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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