August 2012

IZA DP No. 6812: Gender Gaps in Spain: Policies and Outcomes over the Last Three Decades

published in: SERIEs - Journal of Spanish Economic Association, 2014, 5,(1), 61-103.

We document recent trends in gender equality in employment and wages in Spain. Despite an impressive decline in gender gap in employment, females are still less likely to work, and if they work they are more likely to be employed part time and with temporary contracts. The gender gap (after controlling for worker and job characteristics) is about 20% and did not change between 1995 and 2006. Furthermore, the gender gap in wages is driven mainly by differences in returns to individual characteristic. While women are more qualified than men in observable labor market characteristics, they end up earning less. Public policy seems to affect female employment. In particular, there was a significant acceleration of female employment in 2000s. This was a period in which many policies that were implemented after early 1990s started to have their longer term effects. It was also a period during which Spain received a large number of immigrants, which had a positive impact on female labor force participation.