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The Gender Wage Gaps, 'Sticky Floors' and 'Glass Ceilings' of the European Union

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  • Christofides, Louis N.

    () (University of Cyprus)

  • Polycarpou, Alexandros

    () (University of Cyprus)

  • Vrachimis, Konstantinos

    () (University of Cyprus)

Abstract

We consider and attempt to understand the gender wage gap across 24 EU member states, all of which share the objective of gender equality, using 2007 data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. The size of the gender wage gap varies considerably across countries and selection corrections affect the offered gap, sometimes substantially. Most of the gap cannot be explained by the characteristics available in this data set. Quantile regressions show that, in most countries, the wage gap is wider at the top of the wage distribution ('glass ceilings') and, in fewer countries, it is wider at the bottom of the wage distribution ('sticky floors'). These features are related to country-specific characteristics that cannot be evaluated at the member state level. We use the cross-country variation in this large sample of member states to explore the influence of (i) policies concerned with reconciling work and family life and (ii) wage-setting institutions. We find that policies and institutions are systematically related to unexplained gender wage gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Christofides, Louis N. & Polycarpou, Alexandros & Vrachimis, Konstantinos, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gaps, 'Sticky Floors' and 'Glass Ceilings' of the European Union," IZA Discussion Papers 5044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5044
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Deshpande, Ashwini & Goel, Deepti & Khanna, Shantanu, 2018. "Bad Karma or Discrimination? Male–Female Wage Gaps Among Salaried Workers in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 331-344.
    2. Cristiano Perugini & Ekaterina Selezneva, 2015. "Labour market institutions, crisis and gender earnings gap in Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(3), pages 517-564, July.
    3. Chiang, Hui-Yu & Ohtake, Fumio, 2014. "Performance-pay and the gender wage gap in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 71-88.
    4. 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.
    5. Magdalena Smyk & Joanna Tyrowicz & Barbara Liberda, 2014. "Age-productivity patterns in talent occupations for men and women: a decomposition," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 401-414, September.
    6. Zheng Fang & Chris Sakellariou, 2015. "Glass Ceilings versus Sticky Floors: Evidence from Southeast Asia and an International Update," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 215-242, September.
    7. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:4:p:331-354 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Schäfer, Andrea & Tucci, Ingrid & Gottschall, Karin, 2011. "Top down or bottom up? A cross-national study of vertical occupational sex segregation in twelve European Countries," Working papers of the ZeS 04/2011, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
    9. 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.
    10. Matt L. Huffman & Joe King & Malte Reichelt, 2017. "Equality for Whom? Organizational Policies and the Gender Gap across the German Earnings Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(1), pages 16-41, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage-setting institutions; gender wage gap; selection; quantile effects; work-family reconciliation;

    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
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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