I had to mind the children and was unable to attend a talk entitled “Assessing Unequal Treatment: Gender and Pay”.
Specifically, the paper which I missed (but a copy of which I have in my sticky little paw) covers several enticing areas including “measuring the gender pay gap: quantile regressions and the glass ceiling” and “measuring the ‘family gap’: evidence on maternity breaks”. It will come as no surprise to any woman who has ever had children that the author, Professor Mary Gregory, says that “the emergence of a substantial gender pay correlates closely with women’s childbearing and childcare years” and that “family status directly explains 40-50 percent of the gender gap in the US and the UK, with a further 30-40 percent attributable indirectly, through the effect of employment interruptions on human capital”. The author comments that in “a number of countries, but not universally, the market has generated its own response to women’s wishes to combine work with family, in the form of the growth of part-time jobs.” However, alas, in Britain (though who knows what the situation is here – I’m sure its all good on this side of the Irish Sea) “..while women in full-time work have been narrowing the gender pay gap through their rising educational attainment, labour market attachment and occupational diversity, women working part-time have conspicuously failed to match this progress.” “occupational downgrading [is] an important concomitant of the switch to part-time work in Britain, with major adverse implications for future earning trajectories, even following a return to full-time employment.” Oh I can’t stand it any more. I’ve picked out depressing highlights, there are encouraging trends in..um…Sweden. You can read the lot here.