Testing theories of gender discrimination using linked employer-employee data

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Ministry of Transport, Level 6, SAS House, 89 The Terrace

Time:  15.00 - 16.30

RSVP: hubsecretariat@productivity.govt.nz

Dr Isabelle Sin
Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Principal Investigator, Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence

Women in New Zealand earn, on average, 18-25 percent less than comparable men. In this paper, we use a decade of annual wage and productivity data from New Zealand’s Linked Employer-Employee Database, which covers nearly the entire economy, to jointly estimate firm production functions and wage bill equations to evaluate whether differences in worker productivity explain why women get paid, on average, less than statistically similar men and, if not, whether the pay gap is indicative that women are discriminated against in the labour market. We next exploit heterogeneity in measured discrimination across industries and over time, along with detailed data on firm profitability, sector competitiveness and other firm characteristics, to evaluate different economic theories of the persistence of discrimination.

Isabelle Sin joined Motu as a Fellow in January 2012 after completing her Ph.D in Economics at Stanford University, California.

Her research areas are applied microeconomics and economic history, particularly the fields of the economics of knowledge and its international and domestic diffusion. Her interests also include migrants as carriers of ideas. In her doctoral dissertation, she studied flows of book translations between countries to gain insight into the international flow of ideas codified in books.

Isabelle graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2002 with an Honours degree in economics. She then worked at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Motu before leaving New Zealand to pursue her doctoral studies.