Group versus individual discrimination among young workers: a distributional approach
We evaluate the gender wage gap and the unexplained gender wage differential for workers 15-29 year old during the period 1990-1997, using a particularly rich set of data from the Italian Social Security System covering all individuals in the labour markets of two Italian provinces. We estimate separate earnings functions for men and women correcting for endogeneity of education and we evaluate gender discrimination by studying the entire distribution of the unexplained wage gap as suggested by Jenkins (1994). We evaluate discrimination against females by means of bivariate density functions. This innovation makes it possible to condition the density distribution on the marginal distribution of any characteristic and to evaluate more precisely the existence of group and individual discrimination. Our analysis suggests that discrimination is not evenly distributed among women, in relation to their characteristics; in particular, there is evidence of lower discrimination against highly educated females. Moreover in 1997, compared to 1990, discrimination increased in a appreciable way, affecting human capital rich females more significantly. While our work is based in a very local context the richness of the data and the methodological innovation give the results a wider application.
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