• The impact of economic freedom on the gender pay gap: evidence from a survey of UK households

      Apergis, Nicholas; Lynch, Nicola; University of Derby (Emerald, 2020-12-25)
      Purpose-Using survey datasets, this work explores the impact of economic freedom on the gender pay gap. Design/methodology/approach-The analysis combines Economic Freedom of the World data with the Understanding Society (USoc) Microdata series to determine the association between economic freedom, and its respective components, and the gap in pay between males and females in the U.K. Findings-The results document that economic freedom positively affects the gender pay gap. When the components of the index are considered, the findings indicate different effects of various types of policy, i.e. less government spending, stronger trade liberalization conditions and levels of corruption lead to higher gaps; stronger legal and property rights and a sounder money system have no impact on the gap. Moreover, a stronger impact in the manufacturing industry, part-time workers and those who work in the non-London regions is observed. The results survived certain robustness tests. Practical implications-The findings imply that reductions to government spending programmes can potentially aggravate the gap in hourly wages paid between males and females and should, therefore, be implemented. It may be also possible to provide females the training or education necessary to effectively compete in the workforce, before eliminating any spending programme they rely on.