Location of Repository

The Persistent Gender Earnings Gap in Colombia, 1994-2006

By Alejandro Hoyos, Hugo Nopo and Ximena Pena


This paper surveys gender wage gaps in Colombia from 1994 to 2006, using matching comparisons to examine the extent to which individuals with similar human capital characteristics earn different wages. Three sub-periods are considered: 1994-1998; 2000- 2001; and 2002- 2006. The gaps dropped from the first to the second period but remained almost unchanged between the second and the third. The gender wage gap remains largely unexplained after controlling for different combinations of socio-demographics and job-related characteristics, reaching between 13 and 23 percent of average female wages. That gap is lower at the middle of the wage distributions than the extremes, possibly due to a gender-equalizing effect of the minimum wage. Moreover, the gap is more pronounced for low-productivity workers and those who need flexibility to participate in labor markets. This suggests that policy interventions in the form of labor market regulations may have little impact on reducing gender wage gaps.Gender, Ethnicity, Wage gaps, Latin America, Colombia, Matching

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles



  1. (1993). 1976-1989: Cambios en los Diferenciales Salariales entre Hombres y
  2. (2009). Brecha Salarial por Género y Ciclo Económico en Colombia.” Bogota, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes. Mimeographed document.
  3. (2009). Decomposing the Gender Gap with Sample Selection Adjustment: Evidence from Colombia.” Mimeo, Universidad de Los Andes, available at: http://ximena.pena.googlepages.com/gender.pdf, recovered
  4. (2005). Discriminación Salarial por Sexo en Colombia: Un Análisis
  5. (2008). El Mercado Laboral y la Reforma a la Salud en Colombia: Incentivos, Preferencias y Algunas Paradojas.” Bogota, Colobmia: Fedesarrollo. Mimeographed document.
  6. (2005). Glass Ceiling or Floors? Gender Wage Gaps by Education
  7. (2003). Is There a Glass Ceiling in
  8. (2009). Los Costos No Salariales y el Mercado Laboral: Impacto de la Reforma a la Salud en Colombia.” Documento de Trabajo 43.
  9. (2010). Marriage vs. Cohabitation: The Effects on Children's Wellbeing" Mimeo, Universidad de Los Andes, available at http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/profesores/planta/Bernal_Raquel/documentos_de_trabaj o, recovered may 11,
  10. (2008). Matching as a Tool to Decompose Wage
  11. (2007). Minimum Wages and Social Policy: Lessons from Developing Countries.
  12. (2007). Quiénes son las mujeres discriminadas?: enfoque distributivo de las diferencias salariales por género”
  13. (2006). The Gender Wage Gap in Chile 1992-2003 from a Matching Comparisons Perspective.” Research Department Working Paper 562.
  14. (2010). The Increase in Female Labor Force Participation in Latin America 1990-2004: Decomposing the Changes.” Washington, DC, United States: InterAmerican Development Bank. Mimeographed document.
  15. (2009). Universdidad de los Andes, Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Económico.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.