The easiest way to estimate the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition

Liliane Bonnal, Rachid Boumahdi, and Pascal Favard


This article studies the relation between the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition and the estimated coefficient of a dummy variable for a linear regression. We calculate the unexplained part of the decomposition from the estimated coefficient of the dummy variable. More precisely, if the exogenous variables are uncorrelated to the dummy variable, the estimated coefficient and its variance give directly the value and the variance of the unexplained part of the decomposition. If the independent variables are correlated a simple relation is obtained. Moreover, we show that the significance of the unexplained part can be deduced from the significance of the estimated coefficient of the dummy variable.


Oaxaca decomposition; dummy variable; linear regression; discrimination;

JEL codes

  • C13: Estimation: General
  • J15: Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants • Non-labor Discrimination
  • J16: Economics of Gender • Non-labor Discrimination
  • J71: Discrimination

Published in

Applied Economic letters, vol. 20, n. 1, 2013, pp. 96–101