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It is not a bed of roses. Gender and ethnic pay gaps in Italy

The paper investigates the gender and ethnic wage gaps in Italy and their changes during the current economic crisis, using EU-SILC data. Even though Italy has a low gender pay gap compared to other European countries, the overall gender gap in creased from 3.7 in 2008 to 7.2 in 2011. First we analyse the institutional context and how gender segregation in different sectors affected changes in the wage gap. Second, we apply the Oaxac a-Blinder decomposition, with and without Heckman correction, and Shamsuddin decomposition, to estimate the double-negative discrimination for migrant women. We analyse the causes of changes in the wage gaps through a quantile decomposition. We show that the gender gap among Italians increased from 3.4% in 2008 to 7.0% in 2011, along the whole income distribution, driven by the the lower percentage increase in wages of Italian women with respect to men. Moreover, it is unexplained by observables characteristics. On the other hand, the ethnic wage gap between Italian and migrant women is larger, but it slightly decreased from 27.6% in 2008 to 26.0% in 2011. However, at the bottom of the income distribution the ethnic gap increased, because wages of poorly-paid migrant women did not grow during the period.

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers with number 201345.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201345
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  1. Mussida, C. & Picchio, M., 2012. "The Gender Wage Gap by Education in Italy," Discussion Paper 2012-021, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
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