The Gender Wage Gaps, 'Sticky Floors' and 'Glass Ceilings' of the European Union

36 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2010

See all articles by Louis N. Christofides

Louis N. Christofides

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics; University of Guelph; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alexandros Polycarpou

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics

Konstantinos Vrachimis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

We consider and attempt to understand the gender wage gap across 24 EU member states, all of which share the objective of gender equality, using 2007 data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. The size of the gender wage gap varies considerably across countries and selection corrections affect the offered gap, sometimes substantially. Most of the gap cannot be explained by the characteristics available in this data set. Quantile regressions show that, in most countries, the wage gap is wider at the top of the wage distribution ('glass ceilings') and, in fewer countries, it is wider at the bottom of the wage distribution ('sticky floors'). These features are related to country-specific characteristics that cannot be evaluated at the member state level. We use the cross-country variation in this large sample of member states to explore the influence of (i) policies concerned with reconciling work and family life and (ii) wage-setting institutions. We find that policies and institutions are systematically related to unexplained gender wage gaps.

Keywords: gender wage gap, selection, quantile effects, work-family reconciliation, wage-setting institutions

JEL Classification: J16, J31, J50, C21

Suggested Citation

Christofides, Louis N. and Polycarpou, Alexandros and Vrachimis, Konstantinos, The Gender Wage Gaps, 'Sticky Floors' and 'Glass Ceilings' of the European Union. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5044. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1638480

Louis N. Christofides (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus
357 22 892448 (Phone)
357 22 892432 (Fax)

University of Guelph ( email )

Guelph, Ontario
Canada
001-519-763-8497 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Alexandros Polycarpou

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

Konstantinos Vrachimis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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