Extending the work of Atkinson et al. (J. Econ. Inequal. 16, 225–256, 2018), we decompose top-earnings gender disparities into a glass-ceiling coefficient and a top-earnings gender gap. The decomposition uses that both male and female top earnings are Pareto distributed. If interpreting top-earnings gender disparities as caused by a female-specific earnings tax, the top-earnings gender gap and glass-ceiling coefficient measure the tax level and tax progressivity, respectively. Using Danish data on earnings, we show that the top-earnings gender gap and the glass-ceiling coefficient evolve differently across time, the life cycle, and educational groups. In particular, while the top-earnings gender gap has been decreasing in Denmark over the period 1980-2013, the glass-ceiling coefficient has been remarkably stable.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: 11 March 2021.
- Gender gap
- Glass ceiling
- Summary statistics