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The Persistence of Gender Earnings Inequality in Taiwan, 1978–1992

Joseph Zveglich, Yana Rodgers () and William M. Rodgers

ILR Review, 1997, vol. 50, issue 4, 594-609

Abstract: During the 1980s, Taiwan's industry and export mixes shifted toward higher-skill, technology-intensive products, and lower-skill, labor-intensive industries began moving abroad. Despite improvements in women's skills and educational attainment relative to men's, the mean gender earnings ratio between 1978 and 1992 remained at 65%. The authors analyze household survey data from Taiwan's Manpower Utilization Survey to examine why rapid structural change was not accompanied by a narrowing of the gender gap. The results strongly suggest that large losses experienced by women in unmeasured gender-specific factors—which could reflect the effects of labor market intermittency, growing gender differences in unobserved skills, or an increase in wage discrimination against women—offset their relative gains in education and experience. Further evidence provides no support for a widening gender gap in labor force commitment or in unobserved skills, suggesting that wage discrimination against female workers increased over time.

Date: 1997
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DOI: 10.1177/001979399705000403

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