Earnings Gaps Between Israel
Men an d Wom en: 1982
Yitchak Haber feld
an d Yin on Cohen
This study exam ines changes in the earnings gap between native-born Israeli
Jewish men and wom en during the 1980s and early 1990s. The sam ple of
native-born Israeli wom en was broken into two sub-grou ps: one of Western
origin and the other of Eastern origin. Both were com pared to the dom inant
group in the Israeli labor m arket, nam ely native-born Jewish men of Western
origin. Three Incom e Surveys were used for this purpose: 1982, 1987, and 1993.
The results in dicate that alm ost the entire gender-based earnings gap is not
due to productivity-related variables, an d that this figure has not chan ged much
during this period.
Similar to tre nds in other de velope d countrie s, the labor force partici-
pation rate among Jewish women
in Israe l has be en rising during the past
three de cade s from approximate ly 30 pe rcent in the mid-1960s, to almost
50 pe rcent in the early 1990s. In contrast, the labor force participation rate
of Je wish men has de cline d during that pe riod from 76 to 62 pe rcent. Not
only did women increase the ir share in Israel
s labor marke t, but the skills
of women worke rs have been improving, as indicate d by the ir high le vels
of education (Israe l, 1994) . In addition, equal e mployme nt opportunity laws
prote cting women from market discrimination have been enacte d in Israe l
in rece nt years. O ne would expe ct that the se tre nds led to a major im-
provement of wome n
s position in the labor market.
Sex Roles, Vol. 39, Nos. 11/12, 1998
1998 Plenum Publishing Corporation
We wish to thank the Pi nhas Sapir Center for Developme nt for financial support for this
research. We thank Karin Amit and Sigal O hel Shelach for technical assistance.
To whom co rre sponde nce should be addressed at Departme nt of Labor Studies, Social
Scie nces, Tel-Aviv University, Te l-Aviv 69978 Israe l; e-mail: yhaber@ spirit.tau.ac.il
We focus on the Jewish labor force only because Israeli Jews and Arabs operate in two
separate labor markets (e.g., Lewin-Epstein and Se myonov, 1993) .