This paper applies stochastic frontier analysis to examine the gender gap in pay and other labour market outcomes. As an innovative alternative to conventional labour econometric practices, the frontier methodology allows us to evaluate how efficiently an individual transforms their human capital inputs into labour market outputs, to which we add a gender lens. Firstly, output-oriented efficiency analysis allows us to detect whether women – despite earning lower average wages, attaining lower occupational ranks, and often selecting into workplaces with different remuneration mechanisms than men – may actually be making more efficient use of the human capital that they do possess. Secondly, input-oriented efficiency analysis enables us to detect whether women tend to amass more human capital than men, relative to the requirements of the job. This could suggest that greater onus is placed on women to demonstrate their skills and capabilities, or that they tend to refrain from pursuing career advancements despite possessing the human capital to warrant doing so. Empirical findings using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey for 2013 suggest that these hypotheses hold. Such insights add to our understanding of labour market gender differentials in ways that go undetected in conventional econometric practices. 

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School of Economics seminars are the main academic seminar series held on a Friday. These seminars are presented by guest researchers and enable School of Economics academics to network with other academics from around Australia and internationally.

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