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Special academic workshop on the topic of Gender Wage Gap: Global Experience

The Institute for Social Policy at the National Research University Higher School of Economics held on October 12, 2021 special academic workshop on the topic of Gender Wage Gap: Global Experience. The event was organized in the framework of a research grant funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (grant ID: 075-15-2020-928) and in cooperation with the World Bank within the series of events under the topic “Active Ageing Policy and Pension Reforms: Russian and International Experience”.

                                  

 

 


Differences in pay between men and women have been a concern among policy makers and researchers for decades. Gender differences in pay not only matter because we may want to live in a society that offers equal opportunities to its population, but also because they might reflect that the country is not living up to its full economic potential. In addition, gender differences in pay considerably vary across countries, which poses inevitably puzzles: Why is the gender gap in pay twice as big in Georgia as in Panama? Does the gender gap in pay shrink as countries develop? Should countries interested in shrinking the gender gap in pay invest in labor market skills for women or in laws and regulations that promote an equal treatment in the workplace? How social norms reinforce or mitigate the role other determinants have on the gender gap in pay?

Much of existing theories about gender wage gaps and the development process comes from the experiences in the U.S. and other high income countries. But for a variety of reasons, these experiences might not be very revealing for expectations in low and middle income economies. This seminar will present evidence on global patterns in gender wage gaps, and discuss alternative approaches to distilling development patterns in these gaps. Drawing on household survey data from almost 90 countries with two points in time, the work examines to what extent progress in girls’ education can close gaps, the role of the size of public sector wage work with regards to these gaps, and gaps across the wage distribution. The presentation will conclude with policy implications of the findings.

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