Certiably Non-Discriminatory: Firm Self-Assessment and Gender Wage Gap Measures in Luxembourg, Germany, and Belgium

This paper aims to assess the impact of self-evaluation policies in addressing gender wage discrimination. The measures aim to provide employers with a simple way to evaluate their compensation practices with respect to potential gender bias. I employ a difference-in-difference strategy using employee-level data from Luxembourg, Germany, and Belgium before and after the implementation of the policy. Self-evaluation tools are particularly relevant as employees may not have enough bargaining power to benefit from other equal pay measures such as pay transparency. Here, the intervention relies on the employer and thus presents a viable alternative. In all three countries studied, governments praise compliers but do not impose fines on firms that find evidence of discrimination, providing advice and financial support instead. My preliminary results show a reduction in the gender wage gap as a result of the policy. However, I document concerns in the related literature regarding gender wage gap measures that jeopardize the validity of my analysis. I provide an alternative that uses measures based on the value of work instead of the characteristics of the employee. I consider job demands along four dimensions: knowledge, responsibilities, psycho-social demands, and physical demands, which I propose to evaluate for each ISCO-08 occupation code. I suggest the use of ISCO-08 skill qualicafition levels and data from occupational medicine, which provides insights into the intellectual, emotional, and physical demands of specic occupations.