The earnings differential between men and women is a recurring topic in academic research and policy debates. While the gender pay gap is sometimes interpreted as a blatant sign of discrimination that calls for stricter equal pay legislation, the story is far more complicated. For example, women may have a preference for certain sectors, firms and jobs that pay lower wages. Women with children are more likely to interrupt their careers or work part-time. A look at several recent IZA discussions papers shows that these alternative explanations are given different weight, depending on the focus of the analysis and the data used.