Paper: Expensive study can't grasp wage gap among high-income earners

Euros. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The first round of results of a three-year, €615,000 study on the gender pay gap in Estonia, conducted by researchers from Tallinn University (TLÜ); Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and Statistics Estonia, were published on Wednesday, pointing toward men's faster and greater wage growth.

The initial results reveal that wages among both men and women are affected by factors such as occupation, their company's area of activity, education level, county as well as age, with study lead Professor Marge Unt noting that half of the gap can be attributed to differences in occupations alone, daily Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The wage gap was smallest between men and women in the low-income category, where the minimum wage already accounts for a significant portion of wages, while study results revealed the biggest gender wage gap among middle-income earners, but according to Unt, the study's numeric data simply does not explain the gender pay gap between high-income earners.

Also noted in the results was the fact that statistically, workers' average hourly wages increase across the board until the age of 40, after which they begin to fall again, but Unt noted that in the case of men, this wage growth is faster and bigger.

In addition to choice of occupation, study data suggests that the gender pay gap is bigger in companies employing more women than men; Unt noted that this isn't immediately obvious from the data, however if there are fewer men working at a company, it is easier for them to stand out and get promoted as a result.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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