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Testing Theories of Gender Discrimination using Linked Employer-Employee Data
Women in New Zealand earn, on average, 18-25 percent less than comparable men. In this paper, we use a decade of annual wage and productivity data from New Zealand’s Linked Employer-Employee Database, which covers nearly the entire economy, to jointly estimate firm production functions and wage bill equations to evaluate whether differences in worker productivity explain why women get paid, on average, less than statistically similar men and, if not, whether the pay gap is indicative that women are discriminated against in the labour market. We next exploit heterogeneity in measured discrimination across industries and over time, along with detailed data on firm profitability, sector competitiveness and other firm characteristics, to evaluate different economic theories of the persistence of discrimination.
Steven Stillman is a Professor of Economics at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. He is also an affiliated Senior Research Associate at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust and an affiliated Research Fellow at IZA, the Melbourne Institute and the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington in 2000.Steve’s research focuses on empirical labour economics, specialising in the behaviour of individuals and households. He is broadly interested in research on migration, health, nutrition, education, household decision-making and inequality.
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