Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Sylwester, Kevin


This dissertation assesses the causes and consequences of gender wage discrimination in Ethiopia. In the first chapter, we estimate the distribution of Gender Wage Discrimination in the Ethiopian urban labor market using quantile counterfactual decompositions. The literature generally finds a u-shaped distribution suggesting the presence of both a sticky floor effect and a glass ceiling effect. Using repeated cross-section data for the years 2006, 2010 and 2014, we find a strong evidence of a sticky floor effect but not a glass ceiling effect in the Ethiopian urban labor market. Our paper also provides evidence that there is substantial difference in the extent of discrimination between working in private and public jobs. Public jobs are less discriminatory for women relative to the private jobs. In the second chapter, we investigate the determinants of the gender wage gap in the Ethiopian manufacturing sector between the years 1996 and 2010 with a particular focus on the impact of the export orientation. This is done both at the intensive and extensive margin. Accordingly, we find that more export orientation helps reduce the firm level gender wage gap regardless of whether it is at the intensive or extensive margin. Our results also provide evidence on the presence of sectoral variation on the association between export orientation and gender wage gap. Export orientation doesn’t have a significant impact on the gender wage gap in the construction and housing goods sector. Segmenting the data in to two we also find that the impact of export orientation in reducing gender wage gap is much stronger for the period 2003-2010 relative to the 1996-2002 period. Finally, we estimate the impact of gender earnings differentials on the technical efficiency of the firm in the Ethiopian manufacturing sector for the period 1996 through 2010. We adopt a two-step time-variant panel stochastic frontier model using a translog production function. Our results provide fresh evidence on the existence of a significant negative association between gender wage gap and predicted technical efficiencies of firms. Further subdividing the manufacturing sector into four different industries, we find that the negative association is consistent in most industries. Our results are also robust to the inclusion of other firm level explanatory variables at the sectoral level.




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