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Comparing Apples with Oranges: Revisiting the Gender Wage Gap in an International Perspective

Author

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  • Plasman, Robert

    () (Free University of Brussels)

  • Sissoko, Salimata

    () (Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium)

Abstract

Using a rich and comparable micro-data set, we analyse international differences in gender pay gaps in the private sector for a sample of five European economies: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Using different methods, we examine how wage structure, differences in the distribution of measured characteristics, occupational and industrial segregation contribute to explain the pattern of international differences. Furthermore, we take into account indirect discrimination influencing female occupational and industrial distributions. We find significant impacts of those latter factors on gender differentials. However, the magnitude of their effects varies across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Plasman, Robert & Sissoko, Salimata, 2004. "Comparing Apples with Oranges: Revisiting the Gender Wage Gap in an International Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 1449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1449
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, July.
    3. 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..
    4. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    5. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-538, May.
    6. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    7. Bergmann, Barbara R, 1989. "Does the Market for Women's Labor Need Fixing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 43-60, Winter.
    8. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    9. Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-486, June.
    10. Randall S. Brown & Marilyn Moon & Barbara S. Zoloth, 1980. "Incorporating Occupational Attainment in Studies of Male-Female Earnings Differentials," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(1), pages 3-28.
    11. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    12. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
    13. Suen, Wing, 1997. "Decomposing Wage Residuals: Unmeasured Skill or Statistical Artifact?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 555-566, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Coral Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2010. "Gender Segregation in the Spanish Labor Market: An Alternative Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 98(2), pages 337-362, September.
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:4:p:331-354 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Danièle Meulders & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2005. "Les inégalités salariales de genre : expliquer l'injustifiable ou justifier l'inexplicable," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 95-107.
    6. Dorota Witkowska, 2013. "Gender Disparities in the Labor Market in the EU," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 19(4), pages 331-354, November.
    7. Coral del Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2008. "Occupational and industrial segregation of female and male workers in Spain: An alternative approach," Working Papers 84, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Charles Plaigin, 2009. "Exploratory study on the presence of cultural and institutional growth spillovers," DULBEA Working Papers 09-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Campos-Soria, Juan Antonio & Ortega Aguaza, Bienvenido & Ropero-García, Miguel Ángel, 2010. "Diferentes patrones de segregación género y diferencia salarial entre hombres y mujeres en la hostelería/Different Patterns of Gender Segregation and Wage Gap Between Men and Women in Hospitality Sect," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 197(30á)-19, Abril.
    10. Raquel Vale Mendes, 2009. "Gender wage differentials and occupational distribution," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 29, pages 26-40, June.
    11. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Labor market discrimination as an agency cost," DULBEA Working Papers 08-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Carlos Gradín & Coral del Río, 2009. "Aspectos distributivos de las diferencias salariales por razón de género en España: un análisis por subgrupos poblacionales," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 189(2), pages 9-46, June.
    13. Maritza López-Novella & Salimata Sissoko, 2009. "Working Paper 12-09 - Salaires et négociation collective en Belgique : une analyse microéconomique en panel," Working Papers 0912, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage gap; wage structure; occupational segregation; industrial segregation; 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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