January 2006

IZA DP No. 1921: The Gender Wage Gap in Four Countries

revised version published in: Economic Record, 2006, 82 (257), 165-176

In a series of studies written during the 1980s Bob Gregory and his co-authors compared the gender wage gap in Australia with that found in other countries. They found it was not the difference in human capital endowments that explained different gender wage gaps but rather the rewards for these endowments. They concluded that country-specific factors, especially the institutional environment, were important in explaining the gender wage gap. This study updates Gregory's work by comparing the gender wage gap across four countries, Australia, France, Japan and Britain. Our results concord with those of Gregory: institutions are still important in explaining the relative size of the gender wage gap.