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The Gender Pay Gap Across Countries: A Human Capital Approach

Author

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  • Polachek, Solomon

    (Binghamton University, New York)

  • Xiang, Jun

    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

The gender wage gap varies across countries. For example, among OECD nations women in Australia, Belgium, Italy and Sweden earn 80% as much as males, whereas in Austria, Canada and Japan women earn about 60%. Current studies examining cross-country differences focus on the impact of labor market institutions such as minimum wage laws and nationwide collective bargaining. However, these studies neglect labor market institutions that affect women's lifetime work behavior – a factor crucially important in gender wage gap studies that employ individual data. This paper explicitly concentrates on labor market institutions that are related to female lifetime work that affect the gender wage gap across countries. Using ISSP (International Social Survey Programme), LIS (Luxembourg Income Study) and OECD wage data for 35 countries covering 1970-2002, we show that the gender pay gap is positively associated with the fertility rate, positively associated with the husband-wife age gap at first marriage, and positively related to the top marginal tax rate, all factors which negatively affect women's lifetime labor force participation. In addition, we show that collective bargaining, as found in previous studies, is negatively associated with the gender pay gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Polachek, Solomon & Xiang, Jun, 2014. "The Gender Pay Gap Across Countries: A Human Capital Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 8603, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8603
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    1. The Gender Pay Gap Across Countries: A Human Capital Approach
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-12-04 17:41:09
    2. The Gender Pay Gap Across Countries: A Human Capital Approach
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-12-18 14:41:31

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    Cited by:

    1. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "When the opportunity knocks: large structural shocks and gender wage gaps," GRAPE Working Papers 2, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    2. Michael Burda & Daniel Hamermesh & Philippe Weil, 2013. "Total work and gender: facts and possible explanations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 239-261, January.
    3. Ines P. Murillo Huertas & Raul Ramos & Hipolito Simon, 2017. "Regional Differences in the Gender Wage Gap in Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 981-1008, December.
    4. -, 2020. "Brechas de género en los ingresos laborales en el Uruguay," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 45792 edited by Cepal.
    5. Leonora Risse & Lisa Farrell & Tim R L Fry, 2018. "Personality and pay: do gender gaps in confidence explain gender gaps in wages?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 919-949.
    6. Welteke, Clara & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2019. "Peer effects in parental leave decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 146-163.
    7. Lucia Bartùsková & Karina Kubelková, 2014. "Main Challanges in Measuring Gender Inequality," Proceedings of FIKUSZ '14, in: Pál Michelberger (ed.),Proceedings of FIKUSZ '14, pages 19-28, Óbuda University, Keleti Faculty of Business and Management.
    8. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde & Irene van Staveren, 2017. "Identifying Age Penalty in Women's Wages: New Method and Evidence from Germany 1984-2014," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 956, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Joanna Tyrowicz & Magdalena Smyk, 2019. "Wage Inequality and Structural Change," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 503-538, January.
    10. Alexander Stimpfle & David Stadelmann, 2016. "Marriage Age Affects Educational Gender Inequality: International Evidence," CREMA Working Paper Series 2016-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    11. Rosalia CASTELLANO & Antonella ROCCA, 2018. "Gender disparities in European labour markets: A comparison of conditions for men and women in paid employment," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 157(4), pages 589-608, December.
    12. Welteke, Clara & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2019. "Peer effects in parental leave decisions," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 146-163.
    13. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2018. "Why do young women marry old men?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 85(3), pages 509-525, October.
    14. Humphreys, Brad & Maresova, Katerina & Ruseski, Jane, 2012. "Institutional Factors, Sport Policy, and Individual Sport Participation: An International Comparison," Working Papers 2012-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    15. Franz, Nele, 2011. "Geschlechtsspezifische Verdienstunterschiede und Diskriminierung am Arbeitsmarkt: Eine Untersuchung unter Berücksichtigung von Voll- und Teilzeitarbeit," CIW Discussion Papers 11/2011, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    16. Tyrowicz, Joanna & van der Velde, Lucas, 2021. "When Opportunity Knocks: Confronting Theory and Empirics about Dynamics of Gender Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 14027, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Filandri, Marianna & Struffolino, Emanuela, 2019. "Individual and household in-work poverty in Europe: understanding the role of labor market characteristics," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 130-157.
    18. Douglas Amuli Ibale, 2020. "Earning structure and heterogeneity of the labor market: Evidence from DR Congo," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020037, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    19. Jane E. Ruseski & Katerina Maresova, 2014. "Economic Freedom, Sport Policy, And Individual Participation In Physical Activity: An International Comparison," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 42-55, January.
    20. Tiiu Paas & Maryna Tverdostup, 2016. "Assessment of labour market returns in the case of gender unique human capital," ERSA conference papers ersa16p157, European Regional Science Association.
    21. BARGAIN Olivier & DOORLEY Karina & VAN KERM Philippe, 2016. "Minimum wages and the gender gap in pay. Evidence from the UK and Ireland," LISER Working Paper Series 2016-02, LISER.
    22. Enright, Shannen & Russell, Helen, 2020. "Gender balance at work: A study of an Irish Civil Service department," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS115.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; pay; gender; international differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • H8 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements

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