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German Stagnation vs. Swedish Progression: Gender Wage Gaps in Comparison, 1960-2006

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  • Svenja Gärtner

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Abstract

This article provides a comparative analysis of the development of the gender wage gap in West Germany and Sweden during the period 1960–2006. Despite the economic similarities including broad social safety nets, the gap has developed differently since 1960. This analysis accounts for micro- and macroeconomic factors and politics and concludes that norms and traditions penetrate institutional settings and ensnare Germany in a cultural trap with regard to gender equality. While Sweden has moved to a two-earner model, German society expects mothers to stay at home. The micro analysis shows that family concerns (e.g., marriage and motherhood) decrease female income in Germany to a far greater extent than do such factors in Sweden, which can be explained in part by deeply held social attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Svenja Gärtner, 2013. "German Stagnation vs. Swedish Progression: Gender Wage Gaps in Comparison, 1960-2006," LIS Working papers 586, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael P. Kidd & Michael Shannon, 1996. "The Gender Wage Gap: A Comparison of Australia and Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 121-125, April.
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    5. Per‐Anders Edin & Katarina Richardson, 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, March.
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    7. repec:adr:anecst:y:2003:i:71-72:p:09 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Culture; gender wage gap; Germany; Sweden; welfare state;

    JEL classification:

    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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