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Distributional and Behavioral Effects of the Gender Wage Gap

Discussion Papers 1469, 42 S.

Patricia Gallego-Granados, Johannes Geyer


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The gender wage gap is a persistent labor market phenomenon. Most research focuses on the determinants of these wage differences. We contribute to this literature by exploring a different research question: if wages of women are systematically lower than male wages, what are the distributional consequences (disposable income) and what are the labor market effects (labor supply) of the wage gap? We demonstrate how the gender gap in gross hourly wages shows up in the distribution of disposable income of households. This requires taking into account the distribution of working hours as well as the tax-benefit system and other sources of household income. We present a methodological framework for deriving the gender wage gap in terms of disposable income which combines quantile decomposition, simulation techniques and structural labor supply estimation. This allows us to examine the implications of the gender wage gap for income inequality and working incentives. We illustrate our approach with an application to German data.

Johannes Geyer

Deputy Head in the Public Economics Department

JEL-Classification: D31;J31;J16;H23
Keywords: gender wage gap, quantile regression, wage decomposition, labor supply, microsimulation, income distribution, tax-benefit system
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