Discussion paper

DP3242 The Evolution of the Early Career Gender Wage Gap

In this Paper we investigate the male-female wage differential: Does it evolve over the early career or does it exist right from entry into first employment onwards? For the analysis we use new administrative longitudinal data and focus on the early careers of skilled workers in Germany. We adopt a simple human capital theory approach. Advantages of the data for this type of analysis are that we can observe complete work and wage histories, and that we are also able to observe workers' skills. Regarding entry wages we find a gap of approximately 25%. For the early career, ie up to eight years of work experience, the differential remains almost constant at this high level. We find that differences in apprenticeship training explain the main part of this gap and seem to lead to a permanent wage disadvantage throughout the early career.


Kunze, A (2002), ‘DP3242 The Evolution of the Early Career Gender Wage Gap‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3242. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp3242