Based on information provided by two consecutive samples of the four-year version of the Spanish Wage Structure Survey (WSS), in this paper we estimate, from a gender perspective, the returns to human capital in the Spanish hospitality industry. For this purpose has been estimated an expanded version of the Mincerian wage equation. This equation includes, in addition of the variables that represents the human capital following the criteria of Mincer (1974), a set of variables that attempt to measure the effects on wages of workers' personal characteristics and those characteristic related with the occupation.
The descriptive analysis of the samples shows that both in the hospitality sector just as in the whole of private services of the Spanish economy, which have been utilised for comparing, the women's gross hourly wages are on average lower than the men's, but nevertheless the average years of schooling completed by workers in both samples are not significantly different in the hospitality industry.
In another vein, regarding to the returns to formal education in the hospitality industry, the estimates confirm that the gap between men and women in 2006 is extended in the sample for the year 2010 from a differential of 2.1 percentage points in 2006 to 2.5 percentage points in 2010. In the case of the workers from other private services, this differential is significantly lower but it is continuing being higher for women.
The results obtained from our work reveal that persist wages inequalities between men and women in the Spanish hospitality industry. Furthermore, it demonstrates that this sector continues to employ a large number of low-skilled workers in comparing with the average skills of the rest of the Spanish economy sectors.