Keywords: Gender wage discrimination; right to equal treatment; wage differentials.
The aim of the present work is to address the issue of gender wage
discrimination from a legal and economic point of view. This dual approach is motivated by the need to provide food for thought on a twofold reality characterized on the one hand by a large set of rules that have bans wage discrimination against women and on the other hand by consolidated empirical evidence that shows significant gender wage differentials. The paper is divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to present legal profiles and to provide a framework for the economic section. Therefore, it deals with the right to equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination with a special focus on women's wages. In the second part, after a short overview of the official data on wage differentials provided by statistical institutions, the paper discusses important contributions to the empirical literature performed through the statistical and econometric analysis. This kind of approach allows to disentangle the wage differentials "explained" by observable individual characteristics, such as education, work experience, employment sector and occupational status, from the wage differential "unexplained" and therefore potentially due to pure gender discrimination.