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The Effects of Competition and Equal Treatment Laws on the Gender Wage Differential


  • Weichselbaumer, Doris

    () (University of Linz)

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    () (University of Linz)


This paper evaluates the impact of economic and legal variables on wage differentials between men and women. Since Becker (1957) economists have argued that competitive markets eliminate discrimination in the long run. On the other hand, practically all countries have enacted some sort of law mandating equal treatment of men and women. This paper uses a new international data set on the gender wage gap, which is constructed via a metaanalysis of existing studies. The findings show that both increased competition and the enactment of equal treatment laws reduce the gender wage gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Weichselbaumer, Doris & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "The Effects of Competition and Equal Treatment Laws on the Gender Wage Differential," IZA Discussion Papers 822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp822

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    18. Orley Ashenfelter & Timothy Hannan, 1986. "Sex Discrimination and Product Market Competition: The Case of the Banking Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 149-173.
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    Cited by:

    1. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 479-511, July.
    2. Schober, Thomas & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2009. "Gender Wage Inequality and Economic Growth: Is There Really a Puzzle?," IZA Discussion Papers 4323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Ganguli, Ina & Terrell, Katherine, 2005. "Wage Ceilings and Floors: The Gender Gap in Ukraine's Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 1776, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. 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.
    5. Solomon W. Polachek & Jun Xiang, 2009. "The Gender Pay Gap across Countries: A Human Capital Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 227, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Boris Hirsch & Michael Oberfichtner & Claus Schnabel, 2012. "Do women benefit from competitive markets? Product market competition and the gender pay gap in Germany," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1618-1624.
    7. Boockmann, Bernhard, 2004. "The Effect of ILO Minimum Age Conventions on Child Labour and School Attendance," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-52, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:539-559 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Schober, Thomas & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "Gender Wage Inequality and Economic Growth: Is There Really a Puzzle?--A Comment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1476-1484, August.

    More about this item


    competition; equal treatment law; gender wage gap;

    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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