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Beyond the mean gender wage gap: Decomposition of differences in wage distributions using quantile regression

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  • Heinze, Anja

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee data, this study measures and decomposes the differences in the earnings distribution between male and female employees in Germany. I extend the traditional decomposition to disentangle the effect of human capital characteristics and the effect of firm characteristics in explaining the gender wage gap. Furthermore, I implement the decomposition across the whole wage distribution with the method proposed by Machado and Mata (2005). Thereby, I take into account the dependence between the human capital endowment of individuals and workplace characteristics. The selection of women into less successful and productive firms explains a sizeable part of the gap. This selection is more pronounced in the lower part of the wage distribution than in the upper tail. In addition, women also benefit from the success of firms by rent-sharing to a lesser extent than their male colleagues. This is the source of the largest part of the pay gap. Gender differences in human capital endowment as well as differences in returns to human capital are less responsible for the wage differential.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinze, Anja, 2010. "Beyond the mean gender wage gap: Decomposition of differences in wage distributions using quantile regression," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-043, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10043
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    Cited by:

    1. Ekaterina Selezneva & Philippe Van Kerm, 2013. "Inequality-adjusted gender wage differentials in Germany," Working Papers 334, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    2. Thomas Grandner & Dieter Gstach, 2015. "Decomposing wage discrimination in Germany and Austria with counterfactual densities," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 49-76, February.
    3. Antonczyk Dirk & Leuschner Ute & Fitzenberger Bernd, 2009. "Can a Task-Based Approach Explain the Recent Changes in the German Wage Structure?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(2-3), pages 214-238, April.
    4. Thomas Grandner & Dieter Gstach, 2012. "Decomposing wage discrimination in Germany and Austria with counterfactual densities," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp145, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Matt L. Huffman & Joe King & Malte Reichelt, 2017. "Equality for Whom? Organizational Policies and the Gender Gap across the German Earnings Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(1), pages 16-41, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage gap; decomposition; quantile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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