Gender earnings differentials: The european experience
Policy Research Report on Gender and Development: Working Paper Series, (8)
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This paper is concerned with the factors that shape earnings differentials between men and women in industrialised economies, and in particular, on the impact of policies designed to promote equal opportunity and equal treatment of men and women. These issues are examined empirically for a group of European economies: a number of European Union member states, together with Hungary, a prospective EU member.
As members of the European Union, countries share a common legislative framework relating to equal pay and equal opportunities, but in other respects, most notably in the provision of benefits and services for families, the countries display considerable diversity. Given this, we are able to identify more clearly the impact of social policies and institutions, as distinct from direct legislation, on earnings differentials between men and women. The effects of such policies are expected to vary with earnings levels, and so in this study we examine gender earnings differentials across the earnings distribution rather than focusing on a single point, e.g. the mean.
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