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September 18, 2008
The new figures are out. German women still earned 24% less per hour than men in 2006. This unadjusted gender wage gap is a useful indicator and underlines the need for action – especially since it has not decreased significantly in recent years, in spite of women’s increasing education levels. However, this overall indicator has the limitations of all aggregated averages, in that it mixes aspects of a different nature. In particular, it is important to distinguish between potential discrimination (arising in the absence of equal pay for equal work) and “choices”, like career patterns, for instance. At the same time, the latter are only partly driven by preferences – which makes things even more complex. We see four major aspects of the gender wage gap, three pertaining to women at large, and one specific to mothers (and a few rare fathers)... [more]
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