Minimum Wages and the Gender Gap in Pay: New Evidence from the UK and Ireland

48 Pages Posted: 14 May 2018

See all articles by Olivier Bargain

Olivier Bargain

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University College Dublin (UCD)

Karina Doorley

University College Dublin (UCD)

Philippe Van Kerm

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

Abstract

Women are disproportionately in low paid work compared to men so, in the absence of rationing effects on their employment, they should benefit the most from minimum wage policies. This study examines the change in the gender wage gap around the introduction of minimum wages in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Using survey data for the two countries, we develop a decomposition of the change in the gender differences in wage distributions around the date of introduction of minimum wages. We separate out 'price' effects attributed to minimum wages from 'employment composition' effects. A significant reduction of the gender gap at low wages is observed after the introduction of the minimum wage in Ireland while there is hardly any change in the UK. Counterfactual simulations show that the difference between countries may be attributed to gender differences in non-compliance with the minimum wage legislation in the UK.

Keywords: gender wage gap, minimum wage, distribution regression

JEL Classification: C14, I2, J16

Suggested Citation

Bargain, Olivier and Doorley, Karina and Van Kerm, Philippe, Minimum Wages and the Gender Gap in Pay: New Evidence from the UK and Ireland. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11502, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3177377

Olivier Bargain (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )

Belfield, Dublin 4 4
Ireland
+353 1 716 8357 (Phone)
+353 1 283 0068 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/staff/obargain/obargain.htm

Karina Doorley

University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )

Belfield, Dublin 4 4
Ireland

Philippe Van Kerm

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) ( email )

11, Porte des Sciences
Esch-sur-Alzette, L-4366
Luxembourg

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