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CEP discussion paper
The Gender Gap in Early Career Wage Growth
Alan Manning and Joanna Swaffield
July 2005
Paper No' CEPDP0700:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J24; J31; J7

Tags: gender pay gap; wage growth

In the UK the gender pay gap on entry to the labour market is approximately zero but after ten years after labour market entry, there is a gender wage gap of almost 25 log points. This paper explores the reason for this gender gap in early-career wage growth, considering three main hypotheses - human capital, job-shopping and ‘psychological’ theories. Human capital factors can explain about 12 log points, job-shopping about 1.5 log points and the psychological theories about half a log point. But a substantial unexplained gap remains: women who have continuous full-time employment, have had no children and express no desire to have them earn about 12 log points less than equivalent men after 10 years in the labour market.