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Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 173–195 | Cite as

Trends in the Gender Pay Gap in Spain: A Semiparametric Analysis

  • Ignacio Moral-Arce
  • Stefan SperlichEmail author
  • Ana I. Fernández-Saínz
  • Maria J. Roca
Article

Abstract

This article studies the trend in wage discrimination in Spain from 1995 to 2002, when the third plan for equal opportunities for men and women was in action. To account for the criticism of Heckman et al. (J Hum Cap 2:1–31, 2008), we first introduce a novel approach to the analysis of wage discrimination with methods that are robust to model (mis-) specification. Following their idea, we apply semiparametric methods for the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of wage differentials between men and women. We extend the methodology to semiparametric quantile estimation. The study is completed by some descriptive analysis, also based on nonparametric techniques. We find that, while the wage gap has diminished from 1995 to 2002 this is mainly due the smaller gap in returns of endowments for wages above the median, and due to the endowments of women for lower and particularly high wages. Respective the quantiles, in contrast to other EU member states, the Spanish wage gap is widest for low wages but almost U-shaped in 2002 whereas this was not that evident in 1995.

Keywords

Wage differentials Semiparametric regression Counterfactual quartile regression Gender pay gap Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition 

JEL Classification

C14 J16 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We appreciated helpful discussion with R. Alaéz, M. Ullibarri, A. Alonso, and A. Madariaga (Instituto de la Mujer - Emakunde), C. Hundertmark and R. Ohinata, and the comments of an anonymous referee which helped us a lot to improve this article. The authors acknowledge financial support from FUNCAS (Fundacion de las Cajas de Ahorros) which published an earlier version as working paper (Nº 382/2008).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ignacio Moral-Arce
    • 1
  • Stefan Sperlich
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ana I. Fernández-Saínz
    • 3
  • Maria J. Roca
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Fiscal Studies, Ministry of FinanceMadridSpain
  2. 2.Département des Sciences ÉconomiquesUniversité de GenèveGenève 4Switzerland
  3. 3.Departamento de Economía Aplicada IIIUniversidad del País VascoBasqueSpain
  4. 4.Cantabrian Chamber of CommerceSantanderSpain

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