The Glass Ceiling in Europe: Why Are Women Doing Badly in the Labour Market?

Alison Booth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Average gender pay gaps have absorbed the interest of economists for many years. More recently, studies have begun to explore the degree to which observed gender wage gaps might differ across the wages distribution. The stylised facts from these studies, summarised in the first part of the paper, are that the gender pay gap in Europe is typically micreasing across the wages distribution. This finding - more pronounced in the private than the public sector - has been interpreted as a glass ceiling effect. The existence of this glass ceiling suggests that the average gender pay gap in Europe is mainly due to the gender gap towards the top of the wages distribution. What explains these stylised facts? We briefly outline some relevant hypotheses in the second part of the paper. A fundamental challenge for labour economists is to identify the extent to which these stylised facts are due to policies and institutions, discrimination, to other unobservable factors, or to fundamental differences between men and women. Finally, we briefly summarise the policy initiatives that might be introduced to deal with gender wage gaps.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-144
    JournalSwedish Economic Policy Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Glass Ceiling in Europe: Why Are Women Doing Badly in the Labour Market?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this