I. Cholezas. Gender Earnings Differentials in Europe. 2010.


This study investigates and compares gender earnings differentials across nine European countries using data from the last wave of the European Community Household Panel. Our results show that gender earnings differentials still exist and differ across countries. The fact that labour markets value the same characteristics differently by gender is the main force driving earnings gaps, irrespective of the decomposition method used. Selectivity bias turns out to be an issue only in certain countries. The detailed decomposition reveals that differences in constant terms of the earnings equations and different rewards regarding human capital characteristics dominate the gaps. Differences in rewards regarding educational qualifications play a minor role, while differences in occupational groups seem to have a mixed effect. On the other hand, years of potential experience are more important than education in determining male earnings advantage in all countries examined. Therefore, a uniform policy to combat female earnings disadvantage throughout Europe would not be appropriate. What is appropriate, though, to our opinion is a uniform effort to ensure equal opportunities for males and females before even they decide to enter the labour market.