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Table of Contents

Gender Wage Gap in Turkey and Related Theories


Career Objective

Before starting the thesis, I would like to declare that, the topic I have selected is ‘’Gender Wage gap in Turkey’’. Although, we all know that it is not a sustainable point from the point of view of a society to hold a significant gender wage gap, but still the Turkish Labor Market is having wide pay gap among female and male workforce.

Through my research, I would like to find out the real reason of the gender wage gap and to come out with the view that why gender wage gap is not sustainable for all the section of the society. All my findings shall be supported by existing economic literature on labor market and also some empirical research using advanced statistical modles. I will use the results of this thesis to come up with a strong and convincing presentation for all the industrial houses in Turkey so they could understand as why equal wages will benefit their entity. I am sure that my hard-work over this research paper will help me establish as an labor force consultant in Turkey. By this way, I would not only give an innovative entrepreneurial  direction to my career but will also try to ensure that no prejudice will exist for female workforce anymore.

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Over the years. The gender wage gap rates in Turkey are on rise. The economist and academic researchers are blaming a number of factors for this situation and are also discussing the possible consequences of this issue. This paper will deal with extensive discussion on what is Gender Wage Gap and what are the possible consequences of this economic issue. However. before discussing the numbers and the whole scenario of Gender Wage Gap difference in turkey. We shall look over various economic theories relating to labor economics and related wage gap. Understanding these theories will help us understand as why the gender wage gap is not favorable for the economy of a nation. I am sure that by the end of this research paper we will be having a lucid and easy to understand research paper on Gender Wage Gap that will help us to construct further solution to this economic evil.


Since centuries, the women have always come up with a head high approach and have joined numerous economic activities. The biggest turning point came during the industrial revolution after the time period of World War II. As it determined a new position of females in the labor market and the issue came to the forefront globally. After the Industrial Revolution. Primarily because of the changes in technology and the social life. Female sex obtained an opportunity that allowed them to think over their daily life and was welcome to participate in the economic activities. Interestingly, despite of being living in an ultra modern time period. The statistics related to the labor market around the world. Provides evidence that the women have higher unemployment rates and lower wage rates in comparison to the male counterparts.

Hence, with a concern for my country’s position in relation to Gender Wage Gap. We will go ahead with the study of discrimination in the labor market and the gender wage gap differences in Turkey. While studying this important economic issue. We can understand and estimate the level of development of the country standing out as a significant subject on which we need to focus. Even today in the Republic of Turkey, the most subjected question is related to gender inequality. However, it is not easy for researchers in Turkey to frame out an accurate scenario as stratification of the society is much more complex here.

The curse of gender inequality is one of the most discussed topics in the socio-economic arena. The largest part of these researches are dedicated to the analysis of male and female employees in the labor market as majority of these employees are hire and their salary indicates their economic state. Hence, the basic motive of conducting the gender wage gap in the labor market was existence of difference in average levels of earnings between men and women around the world.

Even today, the main question for the people in the society and the government forces is whether there exist and observed practices relating to the partial treatment of women in the labor market. Although, not all the researchers conducted till date have proved the existence of discrimination and partiality, but most of the research work conducted has provided a conclusion. That there exist a high sense of discrimination of women in the labor market. Thus, the discrimination of the female sex in the labor market is a representation of manifestation of social injustice on the basis of gender and hence, it requires measures to eradicate it. Furthermore, the low wage earning or comparatively fewer wages earning position of the women in the labor market, contributes to the feminization of roots of poverty.

The researches being conducted or that have been conducted on the working life, increasing female gender ratio in workforce participation in the labor market and the reason for difference in remuneration of women and me, brought about the focusing on the studying of gaps and the reasons of inter-sexes wage difference. As a result of this gender discrimination of women in the labor market, where they are paid fewer wage than the men. Practically female workers prefer to stay out of working life.

Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to examine the actual cause of the wage inequality among the men and female and also to ascertain the level of wage inequality in Turkey. Our research will be focuses solely on the gender pay gap in Turkey and gender discrimination being practiced in the labor market of the country. Thus, it will be suitable for us to divide the paper in two tasks: First, to set the determinants of gender difference in wage pay in Turkey and their relative contribution to the difference. Second, to assess the level of wage discrimination present in the female employment in the Turkish labor market.

It might be possible that the main topic of this case might be presented or researched a number of times before but what makes my research distinguished is the way it will be presented. In simple words, the gender wage gap existing in Turkey will be presented in two ways:

  1. The traditional way of difference in average wage gap among men and women
  2. The holistic way of presenting the difference of distribution of wages for men and women in the discrimination case and in its absence.

The thesis will be organized in the chapter wise format so as it could help the reader to understand the research in a better and lucid manner. The first chapter will give information on the main difference in pay between men and women in terms of economic theory and will also explain the theories of discrimination. Second chapter will commence with some important statistics relating to Turkey Labor Market and will conclude with the research. The third  chapter will describe the methodology of our research and of course, the data being used in our research work. Interestingly, this will be a sample data collected by Turkstat relating wage of male and female workforce in  Turkey. Along with regression analysis, we will also include the decomposition results of sample data used. The final chapter will include our conclusion on our research work and will also comment as what can be positive implications if gender wage gap is narrowed in the Turkish Market.

** Please note that the data used in the research work is all gathered from the site of Turkish Statistical Institute—TurkStat. The time period of the data is 1989-2009 and the reason for not including the latest years was lack of data. However. In some cases. I do have included information about 2012.

Chapter 1: Theoretical Background

  • Theoretical background
  • The Human Capital approach
  • Female workforce in the working life in Turkey
  • Why in Turkey women are paid less than men?


1.1: Theoretical Background

Discrimination among men and women is a practice since ages and in today’s ultra-modern world. This gender based discrimination has reached in the labor market. In fact, all of the research conducted so far has provided a conclusion that it is only the women which are on the more disadvantageous state. As a result of this discrimination, the social life and health care issues of women are also badly affected. Furthermore, these kinds of impacts bring about the handing down the gender inequality to the next generations.  In the literature, the gender-based occupational discrimination theories analyze the labor market in terms of demand and supply. Labor intended supply theories mostly analyze the causes why women prefer the particular types of jobs. However, the labor intended demand theories analyze the causes why employees prefer for some particular jobs male or female, and focus on various/discriminating opportunities of male and female promotions or career rises in firms.

However, before we move ahead to our research and further discussion, it is important to distinguish between the terms. Gender and sex. Well known researcher, Anker Richard has described, ‘’sex’’ as a biological characteristic determined at conception which is fixed for a person’s life and these biological differences between men and women exist in all countries of the world and do not change over time; however, the word "gender" on the other hand, refers to differences between men and women which are fixed but determined by social and cultural values.(Richard. 2008) It means that gender differences between men and women vary across countries and regions as well as over time without countries— consequences (and unlike “sex”) can be changed by education, government policy media images and opinion leaders(Richard. 2008).

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In present time, we can witness gender discrimination almost everywhere and in every hour of the day. However, the main issue is that we are not able to determine the real reasons for the presence of discrimination as the different types of discriminating activities and prejudices are influencing the society and are influencing each other. Thus, to have a better understanding of gender differences at work place, we shall discuss the following three theories of gender based occupational discrimination and are as follows:

  1. Backer’s theory of taste discrimination;
  2. Institutional statistical discrimination theory;
  3. Non-competitive discrimination theory;
  4. Non-economic feminist discrimination theory.

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