Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 428–438 | Cite as

A Note on Selection and Gender Unemployment Gaps

  • Alena BičákováEmail author


Previous research has documented the impact of positive selection into employment on the ranking of countries by gender wage gaps. This note focuses on the impact of selection into labor force on cross-country differences in gender unemployment gaps. We construct the Manski bounds for the selection-free gender unemployment gaps in 26 EU countries and show that - without additional assumptions - the observed gender unemployment gaps carry little information about the selection-free gender differences in unemployment. Contrary to the common assumption of positive selection into labor force (similar to positive selection into employment documented in the gender wage gap research), we also point at an example of negative-selection bias. We show that labor force withdrawal of mothers on job-protected family leaves may lead to an overestimation of the selection-free gender unemployment gaps by as much as 1 p.p.


Selection bias Manski bounds Gender unemployment gap 

JEL Classification

J13 J21 J71 



I would like to thank Nikolas Mittag and Štěpán Jurajda for useful comments. This project was financially supported by the Czech Science Foundation, grant number 14-36154G.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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  4. Olivetti C, Petrongolo B (2008) Unequal pay or unequal employment? A cross-country analysis of gender gaps. J Labor Econ 26(4):621–654Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CERGE-EIPragueCzech Republic

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