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Unequal Salaries Between Women and Men Make GDP Decline, Study Shows

03/08/2018 - 11h35

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ÉRICA FRAGA
FROM SÃO PAULO

A study on the 2007-2014 period shows that discrimination against women in the labor market reduces the economic activity.

The study shows that every 10% increase in the difference between salaries paid to men and women - connected to gender prejudice - makes the expansion of the G.D.P. (Gross Domestic Product) per capita of the cities decline by 1.5%.

Among the Brazilian capitals, the biggest difference in the first year of the survey occurred in Curitiba: workers' gender accounted for 28% of the difference between salaries.

São Paulo had the third worse indicator – 23%. If São Paulo had had the same rate as Florianópolis (15.4%) in 2007, the annual average of São Paulo residents' salaries would climb from R$ 52,797 (US$ 16,000) to R$ 53,258 (US$ 16,200) in 2014.

To calculate discrimination, statistician Rafael Ribeiro dos Santos used the Rais, which gathers data on the formal market. Santos isolated the impact from other factors influencing salaries.

"Sexism is not only an issue of social injustice. It also leads to economic inefficiency," says Regina Madalozzo, who worked as Santos' adviser at Insper.

Although the difference in salaries paid to the men and women has reduced in some countries, including Brazil, it endures since the beginning of workers' professional life and increases as people get older.

This phenomenon has been called the "glass ceiling effect" and suggests the existence of an invisible barrier stopping women from advancing after certain hierarchical positions.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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