Women attach more value than men to the possibility to work part-time and to short travelling times/distances. Women were also more satisfied with both these factors in their jobs than men in 2012. Some women accept jobs with lower wage because they consider short travelling time as more important than high wages, but this is only a marginal effect when it comes to explaining the overall wage differences.

The wage difference between women and men is a recurring topic in the social debate. Various studies have found differences in hourly wages between women and men, even after adjusting for explanatory factors such as personal and job characteristics. One of the aims of the ‘Labour Market Discrimination Action Plan’ is to increase the knowledge base by means of research. One of the relevant questions here is the relationship between non-pecuniary benefits and job characteristics (‘fringe benefits’) and gender wage differences. Are good job characteristics traded against lower pay, for instance? The Ministry of Social Affairs asked SEO Economic Research to carry out research to answer this question.