How Are Women Catching up? A Slow Decline of the Gender Pension Gap between Generations

Rapoport Benoît , Université Paris 1
Carole Bonnet, Institut National d’Études Démographiques (INED)
Dominique Meurs, INED

Women’s pensions are roughly half that of men on average in Western countries and France is no exception. Female lower wages and career interruptions are the main reasons of this stylized fact. It is often argued that the gender pension gap will spontaneously be reduced as the new generations of female retirees have more often a complete career. In this paper we decompose the gender pension gap in 2008 and 2012 according their main components: duration of careers, past wages and public policy. Then we analyze the factors explaining changes between 2008 and 2012. For doing this, we compare cohorts at the same age in 2008 and 2012 and we estimate the influence of each component on the variation of the gender pension gap. For retirees as a whole, the duration and the reference wage are the most important explanatory factors in 2008 as well in 2012 but the weight of duration in the pension gap decreases in 2012. The decomposition of the changes between 2008 and 2012 by age group confirm that the gender pension gap is slightly declining for each group. This is due to better characteristics for women which more than outweigh the better characteristics for men, particularly in the private sector.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality