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A Short History of the Gender Wage Gap in Britain

Bryson, A; Joshi, H; Wielgoszewska, B; Wilkinson, D; (2021) A Short History of the Gender Wage Gap in Britain. Oxford Review of Economic Policy , 36 (4) pp. 836-854. 10.1093/oxrep/graa046.

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Abstract

After shrinking dramatically during the Second World War, the gender wage gap (GWG) narrowed again in the early 1970s due to the Equal Pay Act. The GWG has closed across birth cohorts at all points in the adult life-cycle but remains. Within birth cohort it rises to middle age before falling again. Among those born in 1958, the raw GWG was 16 percentage points among workers aged 23, rising to 35 percentage points at 42. Among those born in 1970 the gaps were 9 and 31 percentage points at age 26 and age 42 respectively. Differences in men’s and women’s work experience in mid-life account for much but not all of the raw gap in both cohorts. The GWG is a little larger early in the life cycle when accounting for non-random selection into employment but selection plays no role later in life. Policy options for closing the remaining gap are considered.

Type: Article
Title: A Short History of the Gender Wage Gap in Britain
DOI: 10.1093/oxrep/graa046
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/graa046
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111511
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