Measuring and Analyzing the Gender Pay Gap: A Conceptual and Methodological Overview

Articles and reports: 45-20-00022019001


Reducing pay inequality between women and men is a key priority, both nationally and internationally, for achieving gender equality. Documenting gender inequality in pay and tracking progress in this regard for policy purposes requires at least one indicator. The adjusted gender pay gap-the raw difference between the employment earnings of women and men, expressed either as a proportion of men's earnings (i.e., the "gender pay ratio") or one minus the gender pay ratio-typically serves this purpose. At present, there are no internationally-recognized standards for measuring the adjusted gender pay gap, leaving considerable scope for political choice.

The purpose of this paper is to inform the development of international standards for measuring the adjusted gender pay gap by explaining the assumptions underlying, and the implications following from, various methods. Additionally, the paper strives to increase literacy about the meaning and interpretation of different estimates of the gender pay gap, and to bring together various explanations for the gender pay gap.

Issue Number: 2019001
Author(s): Moyser, Melissa
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLAugust 30, 2019
PDFAugust 30, 2019