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How rankings disguise gender inequality: a comparative analysis of cross-country gender equality rankings based on adjusted wage gaps

Karolina Goraus-Tańska (), Joanna Tyrowicz () and Lucas van der Velde

No 46, GRAPE Working Papers from GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics

Abstract: In the case of gender wage gaps, adjusting adequately for individual characteristics requires prior assessment of several important deficiencies, primarily whether a given labor market is characterized by gendered selection into employment, gendered segmentation and whether these mechanisms differ along the distribution of wages. Whether a country is perceived as more equal than others depends on the interaction between the method of adjusting gender wage gap for individual characteristics and the prevalence of these deficiencies. We make the case that this interaction is empirically relevant by comparing the country rankings for the adjusted gender wage gap among 23 EU countries. In this relatively homogeneous group of countries, the interaction between method and underlying deficiencies leads to substantial variation in the extent of unjustified inequality. A country may change its place in the ranking by as much as ten positions – both towards greater equality and towards greater inequality.

Keywords: comparative analyses; inequality; rankings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J31 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-lma
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