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Department of Economics, Stockholm University Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University

No 2001:15:
Wage Differentials and Gender Discrimination - Changes in Sweden 1981-1998

Mats Johansson, Katarina Katz and Håkan Nyman ()

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to follow the development of the Swedish gender

earnings gap through the 1980s and 1990s. We follow the changes in the wage

gap and in factors to which it can be related, step-by-step, and year-by-

year. This is done by analysing cross sectional data from statistics Sweden

(HINK) for the years 1981, 1983-1991 and 1993-1998. The preliminary results

show that the unadjusted wage gap varied between 15-20 percent up to

1989 when the differentials began to increase. During the 90s the size of the

gap was around 25 percent. There is an increase in the wage differentials

between the 1980s and late 1990s. In a decomposition analysis we find that

the measured differences in jobs and qualifications between women and men can

account only for between two and three fifths of the gender wage gap, if they

are assumed to be rewarded according to the wage function for men. If the

female wage function is applied, considerably less of the differentials are

explained. Differences in the educational requirements for jobs have

contributed considerably to gender earnings inequality. The impact has,

however, decreased over the period studied and is about half as large in the

1990s as it was in the 1980s.

Keywords: Gender differentials; wage differentiation; Swedish labour market discrimination; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J16; J31; J71; (follow links to similar papers)

40 pages, December 15, 2001

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