Is There a Glass Ceiling Over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap Across the Wages Distribution

34 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2004

See all articles by Wiji Arulampalam

Wiji Arulampalam

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alison L. Booth

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mark L. Bryan

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Date Written: October 2004

Abstract

Using harmonised data from the European Union Household Panel, we analyse gender pay gaps by sector across the wages distribution for ten countries. We find that the mean gender pay gap in the raw data typically hides large variations in the gap across the wages distribution. We use quantile regression (QR) techniques to control for the effects of individual and job characteristics at different points of the distribution, and calculate the part of the gap attributable to differing returns between men and women. We find that, first, gender pay gaps are typically bigger at the top of the wage distribution, a finding that is consistent with the existence of glass ceilings. For some countries gender pay gaps are also bigger at the bottom of the wage distribution, a finding that is consistent with sticky floors. Third, the gender pay gap is typically higher at the top than the bottom end of the wage distribution, suggesting that glass ceilings are more prevalent than sticky floors and that these prevail in the majority of our countries. Fourth, the gender pay gap differs significantly across the public and the private sector wages distribution for each of our EU countries.

Keywords: glass ceilings, sticky floors, quantile regression, public sector, gender pay gaps

JEL Classification: J16, J31, J7

Suggested Citation

Arulampalam, Wiji and Booth, Alison L. and Bryan, Mark L., Is There a Glass Ceiling Over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap Across the Wages Distribution (October 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=612229

Wiji Arulampalam (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
01203 523471 (Phone)
01203 523032 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Alison L. Booth

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 3285 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0182 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Mark L. Bryan

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 1206 874683 (Phone)
+44 1206 873151 (Fax)

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