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Gender Wage Gap in Expectations and Realizations

  • Filippin, Antonio

    ()

    (University of Milan)

  • Ichino, Andrea

    ()

    (European University Institute)

This paper explores the extent to which the gender wage gap is anticipated by workers' expectations. Data collected among second year students of Bocconi University convey information about their wage expectations. Detailed controls allow a clean matching with a sample of Bocconi graduates providing information about their actual wages. The evidence shows that the gender gap implied by students' expectations one year after graduation is consistent with the gender gap implied by the earnings of their elder counterparts. There is instead a misperception of the gender gap later in the career after graduation because students expect the gender gap to be roughly constant while realizations indicate an increasing gap with experience, particularly for the relatively less skilled worker. There is also evidence that the gender gap at the beginning of a career is particularly high in the most recent cohorts and lower in the previous ones. Finally, our results suggest that the careers of females are characterized by "glass ceilings" in particular at high skill levels, and by "sticky floors" at the opposite end of the skill spectrum.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 825.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2005, 12 (1), 125-145
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp825
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  1. Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," CEPR Discussion Papers 2817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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 S29-62, Suppl..
  3. Christopher L. Erikson & Andrea Ichino, 1994. "Wage Differentials in Italy: Market Forces, Institutions, and Inflation," NBER Working Papers 4922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Meghir, Costas, 2004. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," IZA Discussion Papers 1350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mark B. Stewart, 1982. "On Least Squares Estimation When the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Working Papers 539, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Filippin, Antonio, 2003. "Discrimination and Workers' Expectations," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 78, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Gubta, Nabanita Datta & Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Trends in the U.S. and Danish Gender Wage Gaps," CLS Working Papers 01-6, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
  8. Astrid KUNZE, 2003. "Gender Differences in Entry Wages and Early Career Wages," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 71-72, pages 245-265.
  9. Antonio Filippin, 2003. "Discrimination and workers' expectations: experimental evidence," Departmental Working Papers 2003-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  10. Richard Breen & Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa, 2002. "Bayesian Learning and Gender Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 899-922, October.
  11. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
  12. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  13. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  14. Loprest, Pamela J, 1992. "Gender Differences in Wage Growth and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 526-32, May.
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