The measurement and comparison across countries of female conditions in labour market and gender gap in employment is a very complex task, given both its multidimensional nature and the different scenarios in terms of economic, social and cultural characteristics. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
At this aim, different information about presence and engagement of women in labour market, gender pay gap, segregation, discrimination and human capital characteristics was combined and a ranking of 26 European countries is proposed through the composite indicator methodology. It satisfies the need to benchmark national gender gaps, grouping together economic, political and educational dimensions.
The results show that female conditions in labour market are the best in Scandinavian countries and Ireland while many Eastern and Southern European countries result at the bottom of classification.
In order to take into account the subjectivity of some choices in composite indicator construction and to test robustness of results, different aggregation techniques were applied.
The authors hope that this new index will stimulate the release of a sort of best practices useful to close labour market gaps, starting from best countries’ scenarios, and the launching of pilot gender parity task forces, as it happened with the Global Gender Gap Index in some countries. Finally, relating gender gap indexes with country policies frameworks for gender inequalities and the connected policy outcomes, it is possible to evaluate their effectiveness and to identify the most adequate initiatives to undertake because policies reducing gender gaps can significantly improve economic growth and standard of living.
The analysis gives a contribution in the evaluation of the policies and regulations effectiveness at national level considering the existing welfare regimes and the associated gaps in labour market. It can help policy makers to understand the ramifications of gaps between women and men. The Gender Gap Labour Market Index is constrained by the need for international comparability, but limiting its analysis to European countries; it has been based on ad hoc indicators concerning developed economies and could be readily adapted for use at the national and local levels.
In this paper the authors propose a new composite indicator index specifically focused on gender gap in labour market. Several papers analysed gender differences in wages, employment or segregation, but few of them consider them together, allowing to get a satisfactory informative picture on gender inequalities in labour market and studying in deep its multiple aspects, including discrimination indicators ad hoc calculated, giving to policy makers an useful tool to evaluate female employees conditions and put them in relation with the different input factors existing within each country.
This work was supported by the 2011 Endowment Funds of the Department of Statistics and Mathematics for Economic Research of the University of Naples “Parthenope” in the framework of the research “Wage gap and discrimination analysis with reference particularly to gender gap and horizontal segregation”.
Castellano, R. and Rocca, A. (2014), "Gender gap and labour market participation : A composite indicator for the ranking of European countries", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 345-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-07-2012-0107Download as .RIS
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