Gender Pay Gap: A Macro Perspective

Publication | March 2018

The male–female wage gap is a persistent global phenomenon. As the wage gap may discourage women from investing in human capital or participating in the labor market, understanding its root cause is important.

Gender wage inequality remains a persistent problem in both developing and developed countries. This paper explores this phenomenon using a unique data set that covers 53 economies spanning the period 1995–2010. Robust estimators show different factors influence the wage gap at different stages of development. Closing gender gaps in labor force participation—an important factor in developing economies—and education does little to equalize wages in developing economies. Higher-paying jobs should be created by expanding the service sector in these economies.


  • Introduction
  • Theoretical and Empirical Literature
  • Trend Across Countries
  • Empirical Investigation of the Gender Wage Gap
  • Empirical Results
  • Conclusions and Policy Implications
  • Appendix

Additional Details

  • Gender
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection - labor and employment
  • 28
  • 8.5 x 11
  • WPS189255-2
  • 2313-6537 (print)
  • 2313-6545 (electronic)

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