Within-job gender pay inequality in 15 countries

Andrew M. Penner, Trond Petersen, Are Skeie Hermansen, Anthony Rainey, István Boza, Marta M. Elvira, Olivier Godechot, Martin Hällsten, Lasse Folke Henriksen, Feng Hou, Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, Joe King, Naomi Kodama, Tali Kristal, Alena Křížková, Zoltán Lippényi, Silvia Maja Melzer, Eunmi Mun, Paula Apascaritei, Dustin Avent-HoltNina Bandelj, Gergely Hajdu, Jiwook Jung, Andreja Poje, Halil Sabanci, Mirna Safi, Matthew Soener, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Zaibu Tufail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extant research on the gender pay gap suggests that men and women who do the same work for the same employer receive similar pay, so that processes sorting people into jobs are thought to account for the vast majority of the pay gap. Data that can identify women and men who do the same work for the same employer are rare, and research informing this crucial aspect of gender differences in pay is several decades old and from a limited number of countries. Here, using recent linked employer–employee data from 15 countries, we show that the processes sorting people into different jobs account for substantially less of the gender pay differences than was previously believed and that within-job pay differences remain consequential.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (Award 0525831; D.A., A.M.P. and D.T.), the Humboldt Foundation (grant number AR8227; D.T.), the Research Council of Norway (grant number 287016; A.S.H.), European Research Council ERC Starting Grant (grant number 851149; A.S.H.), the European Research Council ERC Starting Grant (grant number 677739; T.K.), the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (grant ANR-17-CE41-0009-01; M. Safi and O.G.), the Independent Research Fund Denmark (grant number 5052-00143b; L.H.), the European Social Fund and state budget of the Czechia (grant number CZ.03.1.51/0.0/0.0/15_009/0003702; A.K.), the Czech NPO Systemic Risk Institute (LX22NPO5101; A.K.), and institutional support (RVO: 68378025; A.K.), the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (grant number PID2020-118807RB-I00/AEI /10.13039/501100011033; M.E.), the Fritz Henkel Stiftung (Endowed PhD Scholarship; HS) and Swedish Forte (grant number 2015-00807; M.H.), and Z.L. received support from the European Research Council ERC Advanced Grant (grant number 340045). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Research on the US data was conducted by J.K. while J.K. was working for the US Census Bureau. This paper is released to inform interested parties of research and to encourage discussion. The views expressed are those of the authors and not those of the US Census Bureau. Tabular materials presented in this paper were approved for release by the US Census Bureau’s Disclosure Review Board (CBDRB-FY18-258).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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