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Trends in the gender wage gap and gender discrimination among part-time and full-time workers in post-apartheid South Africa

Colette Muller
Publication date
April 2009
Using nationally representative household survey data from 1995 to 2006, this paper explores the gender wage gap among part-time and full-time salaried workers in post-apartheid South Africa, considering specifically how the magnitude of the gender-wage gap and the factors contributing to this gap have changed over time. The results, which are robust to the imputation of values for missing earnings information, provide evidence of a gender gap in wages among both part-time and full-time workers that persists once measurable differences between men and women are accounted for. In addition, the magnitude of the total gender wage differential for both groups has fallen over the years, with the greatest reduction visible for those working part-time. This finding is potentially explained by a decline in discrimination that is greater among part-time workers than among those working full-time, and which is evident even when domestic workers, who are likely to have benefited from the extension of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act to the domestic services sector in 2002, are excluded from the analysis. The inability to control for sample selection bias does, however, complicate the interpretation of the results.
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Series title
Working Paper 124
JEL classifications