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Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Positions in the U.S. and Denmark

Author

Listed:
  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    () (Aarhus University)

  • Oaxaca, Ronald L.

    () (University of Arizona)

  • Smith, Nina

    () (Aarhus University)

Abstract

We compare how U.S. and Danish gender wage gaps have developed between 1983 and 1995 using U.S. PSID and Danish Longitudinal Sample data. Using a new decomposition method, we show that changes in returns to observable skills and ranking effects outweigh women’s gains due to qualifications and account for a rising gap in Denmark, while these effects cannot counter the large decline in the wage gap in the U.S. in this period. Increased wage dispersion has a minimal effect on the gap in both countries. Women at the highest decile in Denmark face the biggest increase in the gap, while in the U.S., the decline is largest at the top and at the middle of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Smith, Nina, 2003. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Positions in the U.S. and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 756, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp756
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 609-629, November.
    2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    3. Blackaby, D. H. & Murphy, P. D. & O'Leary, N. C., 1999. "The payment of public sector workers in the UK: reconciliation with North American findings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 239-243, November.
    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. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    6. 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.
    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.
    8. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
    9. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
    10. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 45-66, October.
    2. Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Mathias G. Sinning, 2014. "Distributional Changes in the Gender Wage Gap," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(2), pages 335-361, April.
    3. Elisabeth Hermann Frederiksen, 2006. "An Equilibrium Analysis of the Gender Wage Gap," EPRU Working Paper Series 06-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    4. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:539-559 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Asplund, Rita & Napari, Sami, 2011. "Intangibles and the gender wage gap: An analysis of gender wage gaps across occupations in the Finnish private sector," Discussion Papers 1243, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    6. Christophe J. Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2009. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Morocco? Evidence from Matched Worker--Firm Data," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(4), pages 592-633, August.
    7. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Mette Verner, 2008. "PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE: The impact of Nordic countries’ family friendly policies on employment, wages, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, March.
    8. Hübler, Olaf, 2003. "Geschlechtsspezifische Lohnunterschiede (Gender-specific wage differentials)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(4), pages 539-559.
    9. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Analysing trends in US and Danish gender wage gaps in the 1980s and 1990s," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(10), pages 643-647.
    10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4344 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Rita Asplund & Sami Napari, 2011. "Intangibles and the Gender Wage Gap: An Analysis of Gender Wage Gaps Across Occupations in the Finnish Private Sector," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 305-325, December.
    12. Napari, Sami, 2009. "Gender differences in early-career wage growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 140-148, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decomposition method; gender wage gaps;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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