Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution
Using harmonized data for the years 1995-2001 from the European Community Household Panel, the authors analyze gender pay gaps by sector across the wage distribution in eleven countries. In estimations that control for the effects of individual characteristics at different points of the distribution, they calculate the part of the gap attributable to differing returns between men and women. The magnitude of the gender pay gap, thus measured, varied substantially across countries and across the public and private sector wage distributions. The gap typically widened toward the top of the wage distribution (the “glass ceiling” effect), and in a few cases it also widened at the bottom (the “sticky floor” effect). The authors suggest that differences in childcare provision and wage setting institutions across EU countries may partly account for the variation in patterns by country and sector.