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Who works for whom and the UK gender pay gap?

Sarah Jewell, Giovanni Razzu () and Carl Singleton ()

ESE Discussion Papers from Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh

Abstract: This study reports novel facts about the UK gender pay gap. We use a large, longitudinal, representative and employer-employee linked dataset for the years 2002-16. Men’s average log hourly wage was 22 points higher than women’s in this period. We ask how much of this gap is accounted for by the differences in whom men and women worked for; how much is explained by the relative wage premiums that firms paid their employees, after adjusting for the influence of other factors, such as occupations and tenure? The answer is less than 1 percentage point, or about one eighteenth of the adjusted hourly gender pay gap. We also find that the allocation of men and women to occupations was as unimportant as how workers were allocated to firms. These results show that in the United Kingdom what happens within firms and occupations is far more important than what jobs men and women have. Therefore, attention should focus on why men and women within UK firms tend to receive different rates of pay.

Keywords: gender wage gap; firm-specific wages; occupation premiums (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J31 J70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-04
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