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Gender Wage Differentials and the Occupational Injury Risk - Evidence from Germany and the US

  • Sandra Schaffner


  • Jochen Kluve


Numerous studies, in particular for the US, have shown that individuals in occupations with high injury risk are compensated for that risk by corresponding bonus payments. At the same time, male workers are overrepresented in the most dangerous occupations like scaffolders or miners, while females typically work in relatively safe occupations with respect to occupational injuries. It is therefore remarkable that almost all studies analyzing the gender wage gap have disregarded different occupational injury risks as a potential explanatory variable for observed gender wage differentials. By merging data on occupational injury risks to German and US panel data on individual workers, this study analyzes gender wage differentials in Germany and the US considering fatal occupational injury risk. The Blinder-Oaxaca method for tobit models is used to decompose the gender wage gap with and without consideration of the fatal injury risk. Our results indicate that the compensating wage differentials for risky jobs are reflected in the resulting gender wage gap, which is caused by the unequal distribution of occupational injury risks among men and women.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0028.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0028
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  1. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
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  3. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," NBER Working Papers 7003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bauer, Thomas K. & Sinning, Mathias, 2005. "Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition for Tobit Models," IZA Discussion Papers 1795, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  7. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  8. Sandra Schaffner & Hannes Spengler, 2005. "Der Einfluss unbeobachteter Heterogenität auf kompensatorische Lohndifferentiale und den Wert eines statistischen Lebens: eine mikroökonometrische Parallelanalyse mit IABS und SOEP," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 539, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "The Structure of the Female/Male Wage Differential: Is It Who You Are, What You Do, or Where You Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 457-472.
  10. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:dar:ddpeco:37281 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Schaffner, Sandra & Spengler, Hannes, 2005. "Der Einfluss unbeobachteter Heterogenität auf kompensatorische Lohndifferentiale und den Wert eines statistischen Lebens: Eine mikroökonometrische Parallelanalyse mit IABS und SOEP," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 152, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
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