Stable gender gap for salaries economists as experience adds value - June 8 ,2009

What value has an economist? After first comparing internationally wages of truck drivers, we took on the economists and used the databases of the WageIndicator to analyse their salaries in ten countries at three continents.

With the exception of the figures from the US, we compared salaries not only according to country, but also according to gender and experience.

We found that, with the exception of Argentina, women economists earn substantially less than their male colleagues. And while their salaries go up substantially as their get more years of experience, the gap in payment between the genders remain the same.

We compared hourly wages of economists outside universities, male and female, with each two and twenty years of experience.

First, the Americans value economists more than almost anybody else. The average income for an economist in Washington is 37.11 euro per hour. In the participating developing countries all economists earned less than ten euro per hour, with the exception of Brazil - but that can be caused by a rather small number of surveys that we could use. Germany and the Netherlands paid their economists more than 20 euro, with the exception of female economists with little experience in Eastern Germany (17.42 euro). Only senior economists in the Netherlands earned more than the US-benchmark, 49.49 euro for women and 56.78 euro for men. Even compared to their German neighbors the Dutch economists tend to earn substantially more. Compared to other countries in Western Europe, Sweden pays their economists rather moderate.

Gender gap
All countrties with the exception of Argentina pay female economists less than male. The gender gap is largest in Hungary (25 percent) and Brazil (30 percent). In Russia and Poland the difference is only about five percent. In Europe the differences are 15 percent (the Netherlands and West Germany) while East Germany scores 10 percent. Here Sweden is in the middle with a difference of 12 percent. Is this part of a - perhaps declining - communist background where men and women were at least in theory equal? That would be an interesting question for future research.

Experience is most appreciate in the Netherlands where the pay for economists with 20 years of experience is 45 percent higher than that of economists with only a few years of experience. They are followed by Poland with 40 percent and Argentina with 35 percent. In Sweden the experience causes an increase of 30 percent, while in West Germany the increase is only 20 percent. In all cases the difference between men and women remains the same as a percentage of the salary, regardless their experience. 


Please note that these figures were collected in May 2009 according to very specific profiles of economists. For your own salary, please visit the WageIndicator of your country.

In upcoming WageIndicator international salary comparisons: journalists and lawyers.

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