Researchinequality, pay gap, wages

Gender pay gap in EU countries

Publication date: 10/2018
Authors: Christina Boll, Andreas Lagemann
Committente: European Commission - Directorate-General for Justice


Gender gaps in wages are an important facet of wage inequality and belong to the best documented facts in labour economics. The literature has produced an extensive set of theories helping to explain the persistence of the phenomenon. This study updates existing figures on the gender pay gap in EU countries based on the Structure of Earnings Survey (EU-SES) for 2014. The study explores the magnitude and composition of the gender pay gap both as an average of the country aggregate and for 26 single countries. To break down the barriers for women to climb up the career ladder, a mix of policies seems appropriate. On the level of the state and society, these are positive role models, the introduction of quotas for women’s representation in boards and a more extensive provision of full-day childcare. On the firm level, more strategies fostering women’s participation in training and promotion programs are required, particularly for parttime working women. Last but not least, positive role models are also pertinent on the firm level.

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