Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

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

Mats Johansson , Katarina Katz and Håkan Nyman ()
Additional contact information
Mats Johansson: Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm
Katarina Katz: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Håkan Nyman: National Insurance Board, Stockholm

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

JEL-codes: J16; J31; J71

40 pages, December 15, 2001

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