EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter?

Anthony Strittmatter () and Conny Wunsch ()

No 14128, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: The vast majority of existing studies that estimate the average unexplained gender pay gap use unnecessarily restrictive linear versions of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. Using a notably rich and large data set of 1.7 million employees in Switzerland, we investigate how the methodological improvements made possible by such big data affect estimates of the unexplained gender pay gap. We study the sensitivity of the estimates with regard to i) the availability of observationally comparable men and women, ii) model flexibility when controlling for wage determinants, and iii) the choice of different parametric and semi- parametric estimators, including variants that make use of machine learning methods. We find that these three factors matter greatly. Blinder-Oaxaca estimates of the unexplained gender pay gap decline by up to 39% when we enforce comparability between men and women and use a more flexible specification of the wage equation. Semi-parametric matching yields estimates that when compared with the Blinder-Oaxaca estimates, are up to 50% smaller and also less sensitive to the way wage determinants are included.

Keywords: gender inequality; gender pay gap; common support; model specification; matching estimator; machine learning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-cmp, nep-ecm and nep-lma
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://docs.iza.org/dp14128.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter? (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter? (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter? (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter? (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14128

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2022-12-06
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14128