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The University of Southampton
Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and LawResearch

Current projects

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Caring and the Law

Dr Megan Pearson is working on a project examining care and employment rights from the perspective of vulnerability theory. She has presented papers on this topic at the Vulnerability Across Disciplines Conference organised by Newcastle University, The Gender Pay Gap: From History to Computer Algorithms Conference organised by Northumbria University and at the Society of Legal Scholars annual conference in 2022. She is contributing to an edited collection entitled, ‘The Evolution of the Gender Pay Gap: A Comparative Perspective’, to be published by Routledge in 2023.

Using Big Data to Identify Meaning and Reasons for Gender Pay Gap of Local vs. Global Workforce

Professor Yehuda Baruch is working with a global team on a study using Big Data to identify meaning and reasons for gender pay gap of local vs. global workforce. Gender pay inequalities remain a prevalent challenge for society and is prevalent at the global stage of work. It weakens firms’ effort to achieve the United-Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Using data for the entire workforce of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2019, we compare the gender pay gap for domestic and foreign workers in local and international firms. Expanding and challenging human capital theory, we enhance understanding of the pay gap phenomenon based on which conditioning factors contribute to the gap, and their role in a global context. International firms pay wages which are on average 50% higher for women and 75% higher for men, leading to a larger gender pay gap of about 25% in international firms compared to 15% in domestic firms.

This gap is conditional on productivity characteristics such as occupation, birth cohort, sector, and firm-size, and occurs at the high end of the wage distribution. Accounting for career border-crossings by job, employer, and sector decreases the gender pay gap in international firms to similar levels as in domestic firms. We find that the nationality of the managers moderates the gender pay gap, with foreign managers being associated with a decrease in the gap between 3 to 10%, according to the managers’ nationality.

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