On SAGE Insight: Part-time employment, the gender wage gap and the role of wage-setting institutions

Article title: Part-time employment, the gender wage gap and the role of wage-setting institutions: Evidence from 11 European countries

From European Journal of Industrial Relations

The European Employment Strategy has sought to promote and strengthen equal opportunity policies since 1999, but despite a slight improvement in most European countries, a substantial gender earnings gap remains throughout Europe. Governments are also encouraged to implement policies that facilitate greater reconciliation between work and family life, in particular by enhancing part-time employment, which has become widespread in Europe, with an average of one in five workers working part-time in the EU-27 in 2015, compared with 16 percent 10 years before.

This article examines how far the over-representation of women in part-time jobs can explain the gender gap in hourly earnings, and also investigate how far wage-setting institutions are correlated with the overall gender wage gap and the female part-time wage gap. It uses European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2009 data for 11 European countries.

In Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, part-time employment is more widespread than in Southern Europe and is more developed in female-dominated and low-paid sectors, which thus explains a large share of the gender wage gap. The comparative analysis also shows that wage-setting) institutions seem to reduce the female full-time/part-time pay gap by compressing earnings at the bottom of the wage distribution, and they reduce the gender gap among fulltime workers by compressing the male unexplained wage advantage.

Abstract

We examine how far the over-representation of women in part-time jobs can explain the gendergap in hourly earnings, and also investigate how far wage-setting institutions are correlated with the overall gender wage gap and the female part-time wage gap. Using European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2009 data for 11 European countries, we implement a double decomposition of the gender wage gap: between men and women employed full-time and between full-time and part-timen working wome. This shows that the wage penalty of women employed part-time occurs mainly through the segregation of part-time jobs, but the full-time gender pay gap remains mostly unexplained. At the macro level, the gender wage gap tends to be higher in countries where part-time employment is more widespread. Some wage-setting institutions seem to reduce the female full-time/part-time paygap and the gender gap among full-time workers.

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Article details
Part-time employment, the gender wage gap and the role of wage-setting institutions: Evidence from 11 European countries
Eleonora Matteazzi, Ariane Pailhé, Anne Solaz
First Published November 6, 2017
DOI: 10.1177/0959680117738857
European Journal of Industrial Relations

 

 

 

 

     
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