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Intangibles and the gender wage gap: An analysis of gender wage gaps across occupations in the Finnish private sector


  • Asplund, Rita
  • Napari, Sami


The paper compares the gender wage differentials of two occupation groups innovation and non-innovation workers separately for manufacturing and services using Finnish private-sector data. We apply a decomposition method based on unconditional quantile regression techniques to identify key factors underlying the gender wage gaps observed along the whole wage distribution, as well as changes in these wage gaps between 2002 and 2009. This more nuanced approach provides important new insights. We find conspicuous differences in average gender wage gaps, in gender wage-gap profiles across the wage distribution and also in the evolution of gender wage differentials over time between sectors and occupation groups. Our results imply that sector-specific factors are a more important driving force behind these differences in patterns and trends of gender wage gaps, although occupation-specific factors cannot be totally dismissed. Hence, comparisons of gender wage gaps, including their underlying sources, of innovation and non-innovation workers for too broadly defined segments of the labour market may result in misleading conclusions concerning the factual role of intangible capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Asplund, Rita & Napari, Sami, 2011. "Intangibles and the gender wage gap: An analysis of gender wage gaps across occupations in the Finnish private sector," Discussion Papers 1243, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1243

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Smith, Nina, 2003. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Positions in the U.S. and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 756, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    1. Rita Asplund & Sami Napari, 2011. "Intangibles and the Gender Wage Gap: An Analysis of Gender Wage Gaps Across Occupations in the Finnish Private Sector," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 305-325, December.

    More about this item


    gender wage gap; decomposition; human capital; intangible capital; quantile regression; wage formation; services; manufacturing;

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