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Attitudes to gender and personality in the Australian gender wage gap

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Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of gender role attitudes and personality traits on the gender wage gap in Australia. Applying standard decomposition techniques and controlling for a wide range of variables, the paper finds that the overall gender wage gap in our estimates on average stood at 17.2% in 2019. Furthermore, the major portion of this wage gap remains unexplained, which accounts for at least 72.7% of the total gender wage gap. The results establish gender role attitudes as a key predictor of this pay gap both in the explained and unexplained part of the wage decomposition. It also shows that the impact of personality traits depends on whether the big five traits or the sub-traits are used in the analysis. Even some of the sub-traits belonging to the same category can influence the gender pay gap in opposite directions. Overall, the estimates establish the importance of psychological variables as more important than traditional human capital and other work-related characteristics in explaining the remaining gender wage gap in Australia.

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  • Kamal, Mustafa & Blacklow, Paul, 2021. "Attitudes to gender and personality in the Australian gender wage gap," Working Papers 2021-07, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tas:wpaper:38717
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    Keywords

    gender wage gap; wage decompositions; gender role attitudes; personality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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