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