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The Persistent Gap: New Evidence on the Canadian Gender Wage Gap


  • Drolet, Marie


This article uses data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) to investigate the extent to which factors not previously explored in the Canadian context account for wage differences between men and women. Like other studies using standard decomposition techniques and controlling for a variety of productivity-related characteristics, the results demonstrate that men still enjoy a wage advantage over women: women's average hourly wage rate is about 84% - 89% of the men's average. Unlike other studies, controls for work experience and job-related responsibilities are used. Gender differences in full-year, full-time work experience explain at most, 12% of the gender wage gap. Gender differences in the opportunity to supervise and to perform certain tasks account for about 5% of the gender wage gap. Yet despite the long list of productivity related factors, a substantial portion of the gender wage gap cannot be explained. Many studies rely on measures such as age or potential experience (= age minus number of years of schooling minus six) as a proxy for actual labour market. Neither of these measures account for complete withdrawals from the labour market nor for restrictions on the number of hours worked per week or on the number of weeks worked per year due to family-related responsibilities. The results show that proxies for experience yield larger adjusted gender wage gaps than when actual experience is used.

Suggested Citation

  • Drolet, Marie, 2001. "The Persistent Gap: New Evidence on the Canadian Gender Wage Gap," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001157e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2001157e

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-229, April.
    2. Denise J. Doiron & W. Craig Riddell, 1994. "The Impact of Unionization on Male-Female Earnings Differences in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 504-534.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margaret Yap, 2010. "Slicing and dicing the gender/racial earnings differentials," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 466-488, July.
    2. Nicole M. Fortin & Michael Huberman, 2002. "Occupational Gender Segregation and Women's Wages in Canada: An Historical Perspective," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 11-39, May.
    3. Linda A. White, 2001. "Child Care, Women's Labour Market Participation and Labour Market Policy Effectiveness in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(4), pages 385-405, December.
    4. Marie Drolet, 2002. "Can the Workplace Explain Canadian Gender Pay Differentials?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 41-63, May.
    5. Coulombe, Simon & Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Has Higher Education Among Young Women Substantially Reduced the Gender Gap in Employment and Earnings?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007301e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Casey Warman & Frances Woolley & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "The Evolution of Male-Female Wages Differentials in Canadian Universities: 1970-2001," Working Papers 1099, Queen's University, Department of Economics.


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