Gender earning gaps around the world: a study of 64 countries

Hugo Ñopo (Education Division, Inter‐American Development Bank, Bogota, Colombia)
Nancy Daza (Economic Studies Unit, National Planning Department, Bogotá, Colombia)
Johanna Ramos (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter‐American Development Bank, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 10 August 2012



The purpose of this paper is to analyze gender disparities in labor earnings for a comprehensive set of 64 countries.


Using the methodological approach proposed by Ñopo, socio‐demographic characteristics are used to match males and females such that gender earnings disparities are computed only among individuals with the same observable characteristics.


Disparities are partially attributed to gender differences in observable socio‐demographic and job characteristics. After matching males and females with the same characteristics, the authors found that the earnings gap falls within a range between 8 per cent and 48 per cent of average females’ earnings, being more pronounced in South Asia and Sub‐Saharan Africa. The unexplained earnings gaps are more pronounced among part‐time workers and those with low education levels.


This paper presents a comprehensive view of gender earnings gaps in the world, simultaneously exploring many of the issues highlighted in the related literature. It adds value by exploring gender gaps in a comparative perspective, applying the same methods for several different countries.



Ñopo, H., Daza, N. and Ramos, J. (2012), "Gender earning gaps around the world: a study of 64 countries", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 464-513.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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