The gender earnings gap among pharmacists

Res Social Adm Pharm. Jul-Aug 2012;8(4):285-97. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2011.06.003. Epub 2011 Sep 29.


Background: A gender earnings gap exists across professions. Compared with men, women earn consistently lower income levels. The determinants of wages and salaries should be explored to assess whether a gender earnings gap exists in the pharmacy profession.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) compare the responses of male and female pharmacists' earnings with human-capital stock, workers' preferences, and opinion variables and (2) assess whether the earnings determination models for male and female pharmacists yielded similar results in estimating the wage-and-salary gap through earnings projections, the influence of each explanatory variable, and gender differences in statistical significance.

Methods: Data were collected through the use of a 37-question survey mailed to registered pharmacists in South Florida, United States. Earnings functions were formulated and tested separately for male and female pharmacists using unlogged and semilog equation forms. Number of hours worked, human-capital stock, job preferences, and opinion variables were hypothesized to explain wage-and-salary differentials.

Results: The empirical evidence led to 3 major conclusions: (1) men's and women's earnings sometimes were influenced by different stimuli, and when they responded to the same variables, the effect often was different; (2) although the influence of some explanatory variables on earnings differed in the unlogged and semilog equations, the earnings projections derived from both equation forms for male and female pharmacists were remarkably similar and yielded nearly identical male-female earnings ratios; and (3) controlling for number of hours worked, human-capital stock, job preferences, and opinion variables reduced the initial unadjusted male-female earnings ratios only slightly, which pointed toward the presence of gender bias.

Conclusion: After controlling for human-capital stock, job-related characteristics, and opinion variables, male pharmacists continued to earn higher income levels than female pharmacists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Career Mobility
  • Educational Status
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Models, Economic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Pharmacists / economics*
  • Pharmacists / statistics & numerical data
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits* / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload
  • Workplace