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Y a-t-il vraiment discrimination salariale contre les femmes ?

Listed author(s):
  • Laure DUTOIT
  • Jean-Christian LAMBELET

Trying to ascertain scientifically the existence and importance of gender-based salary discrimination runs into conceptual and technical difficulties, the implications of which are not always fully appreciated: depending on the approach used, our analysis of a large sample for Switzerland in 1997 concludes that there is significant discrimination against women; or that no discrimination can be detected; or that there is significant discrimination The approaches used are: direct general regression (for given attributes such as qualification levels, do salaries differ according to gender ?); inverse general regression (for a given salary level, do employers require different attributes, such as qualification levels, depending on gender ?); the Oaxaca-Blinder method (the effect of a given attribute - e.g. age or marital status - on salaries may differ depending on gender and one must therefore estimate and compare separate equations for women and for men); Heckman's correction (focusing on working persons only may give rise to a selection bias). Our general conclusion is agnostic : given the present state of techniques and knowledge, it is not (yet ?) possible to ascertain scientifically the existence of gender-based salary discrimination in Switzerland. This conclusion differs from that reached by pre-existing studies, which tended to underpin the existence of salary discrimination against women.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 01.09.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2001
Publication status: Published in Analyses et prévisions, Institut Créa, Université de Lausanne, automne 2001
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:01.09
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne

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