Motu Note #45

Pay gaps – an $18 billion a year issue

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Note overview

[Note amended October 2023]


Different pay rates
For gender and ethnic groups
Add up to a lot!


This note estimates the aggregate size of gender and ethnic pay gaps in Aotearoa New Zealand.


The gender pay gap represents $7.6 billion per year, or 5% of wages and salaries.


Gender and ethnic pay gaps combined represent $17.6 billion per year, or 11% of wages and salaries.


The note also discusses recent research that identifies the contributions of gender and ethnic differences in personal and job characteristics, and points to the important role of within-firm pay gaps.


Dave Maré. 2022. “Pay gaps – an $18 billion a year issue". Motu Research Note 45. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. Wellington, New Zealand.