The Persistent Gender Earnings Gap in Colombia, 1994-2006

34 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010

See all articles by Alejandro Hoyos

Alejandro Hoyos

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Hugo Ñopo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ximena Pena

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

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Abstract

This paper surveys gender earnings gaps in Colombia from 1994 to 2006, using matching comparisons to examine the extent to which individuals with similar human capital characteristics earn different wages. Three sub-periods are considered: 1994-1998; 2000-2001; and 2002- 2006, corresponding to the economic cycle of the Colombian economy. The gaps dropped from the first to the second period but remained almost unchanged between the second and the third. The gender earnings gap remains largely unexplained after controlling for different combinations of socio-demographics and job-related characteristics, reaching between 13 and 23 percent of average female earnings. That gap is lower at the middle of the wage distributions than the extremes, possibly due to a gender-equalizing effect of the minimum wage. Moreover, the gap is more pronounced for low-productivity workers and those who need flexibility to participate in labor markets. This suggests that policy interventions in the form of labor market regulations may have little impact on reducing gender earnings gaps.

Keywords: gender, ethnicity, wage gaps, Latin America, Colombia, matching

JEL Classification: C14, D31, J16, O54

Suggested Citation

Hoyos, Alejandro and Nopo, Hugo and Pena, Ximena, The Persistent Gender Earnings Gap in Colombia, 1994-2006. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5073. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648358

Alejandro Hoyos (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Hugo Nopo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Ximena Pena

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

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