Econintersect: Throughout the developed world men are paid better than women. But in a few countries the pay gap is small. The difference in pay is 7% or less in Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Spain. The smallest gap for the countries measured by the Pew Research Center is in New Zealand where men make on average 4.2% more than women. See graph at end of article to see the gender gaps for 38 developed countries
For younger workers (ages 25-34) the wage gap has been narrowing in the U.S. But it is not because women in that age group are earning any more than the average for all ages. The reason is a 25% drop in wages for men aged 25-34 since 1980.
While many factors may be invovled in the lower pay for women, a significant difference in the number working part-time may be an important factor in lowering hourly pay.
Another correlation found was the higher pay gap associated with countries with parental leave laws. Of those countries with little or no paid parental leave shown on the graph below, the U.S. has the biggest pay gap.
The U.S. ranks dead last (38th) in parental leave among the most developed countries in the world.
- On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now (Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends, 11 December 2013)
- The link between parental leave and the gender pay gap (Gretchen Livingston, Pew Research Center, 20 December 2013)
- Among 38 nations, U.S. is the outlier when it comes to paid parental leave (Gretchen Livingston, Pew Research Center, 12 December 2013)