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Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?

Author

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  • Albrecht, James

    () (Georgetown University)

  • Björklund, Anders

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Vroman, Susan

    () (Georgetown University)

Abstract

Using data from 1998, we show that the gender log wage gap in Sweden increases throughout the wage distribution and accelerates in the upper tail of the distribution, which we interpret as a glass ceiling effect. Using earlier data, we show that the same pattern held at the beginning of the 1990’s but not in the prior two decades. Further, we do not find this pattern either for the log wage gap between immigrants and non-immigrants in the Swedish labor market or for the gender gap in the U.S. labor market. Our findings suggest that a gender-specific mechanism in the Swedish labor market hinders women from reaching the top of the wage distribution. Using quantile regressions, we examine whether this pattern can be ascribed primarily to gender differences in labor market characteristics or to gender differences in rewards to those characteristics. We estimate pooled quantile regressions with gender dummies, as well as separate quantile regressions by gender, and we carry out a decomposition analysis in the spirit of the Oaxaca-Blinder technique. Even after extensive controls for gender differences in age, education (both level and field), sector, industry, and occupation, we find that the glass ceiling effect we see in the raw data persists to a considerable extent.

Suggested Citation

  • Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    2. Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-465, July.
    3. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    4. Edin, Per-Anders & Richardson, Katarina, 2002. " Swimming with the Tide: Solidary Wage Policy and the Gender Earnings Gap," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 49-67.
    5. 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.
    6. Stephen G. Donald & David A. Green & Harry J. Paarsch, 2000. "Differences in Wage Distributions Between Canada and the United States: An Application of a Flexible Estimator of Distribution Functions in the Presence of Covariates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 609-633.
    7. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1998. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions, and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 610-643.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    quantile regression; glass ceiling; Gender gap;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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