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Bargaining and the Gender Wage Gap: A Direct Assessment

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Author Info

  • Card, David

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Cardoso, Ana Rute

    ()
    (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))

  • Kline, Patrick

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

An influential recent literature argues that women are less likely to initiate bargaining with their employers and are (often) less effective negotiators than men. We use longitudinal wage data from Portugal, matched to balance sheet information on employers, to measure the relative bargaining power of men and women and assess the impact of the gender gap in bargaining strength on the male-female wage gap. We show that a model with additive fixed effects for workers and gender-specific fixed effects for firms provides a close approximation to the wage structure for both men and women. Building on this model we present three complementary approaches to identifying the impact of differential bargaining strength. First, we perform a simple decomposition by assigning the firm-specific wage premiums for one gender to the other. Second, we relate the wage premiums for men and women to measures of employer profitability. Third, we show that changes in firm-specific profitability have a smaller effect on the wage growth of female than male employees. All three approaches suggest that women are paid only 85-90% of the premiums that men earn at more profitable firms. Overall, we estimate that the shortfall in women‘s relative bargaining power explains around 3 percentage points – or 10-15% – of the gender wage gap in Portugal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7592.

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Length: 69 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7592

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Keywords: wage differentials; discrimination; gender; linked employer-employee data;

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References

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  1. Card, David & Heining, Jörg & Kline, Patrick, 2012. "Workplace heterogeneity and the rise of West German wage inequality," IAB Discussion Paper 201226, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Macis, Mario & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2012. "Exports and Wages: Rent Sharing, Workforce Composition or Returns to Skills?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: a Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie & Maximo Torero & Lise Vesterlund, 2011. "Gender Differences in Bar gaining Outcomes: A Field Experiment on Discrimination," Working Papers 1029, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  5. Oskar Nordström Skans & Per-Anders Edin & Bertil Holmlund, 2007. "Wage dispersion between and within plants: Sweden 1985-2000," NBER Working Papers 13021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nekby, Lena, 2003. "Gender differences in rent sharing and its implications for the gender wage gap, evidence from Sweden," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 403-410, December.
  7. Ana Rute Cardoso & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2013. "Everything you always wanted to know about sex discrimination," Working Papers w201302, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  8. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & McGinn, Kathleen L., 2005. "Constraints and Triggers: Situational Mechanics of Gender in Negotiation," Working Paper Series rwp05-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Van Reenen, John, 1994. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of UK Companies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Carlsson, Mikael & Messina, Julián & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2011. "Wage Adjustment and Productivity Shocks," Working Paper Series 253, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  11. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, . "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," IPR working papers 97-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  12. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Card, David & Devicienti, Francesco & Maida, Agata, 2011. "Rent-Sharing, Hold-up, and Wages: Evidence from Matched Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6086, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  15. Karen Mumford & Peter N. Smith, 2009. "What determines the part-time and gender earnings gaps in Britain: evidence from the workplace," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i56-i75, April.
  16. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
  17. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Bargaining and the Gender Wage Gap: A Direct Assessment
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2013-10-15 13:24:01
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Cited by:
  1. Cozzi, Guido & Mantovan, Noemi & Sauer, Robert M., 2013. "Does It Pay to Work for Free? Wage Returns and Gender Differences in the Market for Volunteers," IZA Discussion Papers 7697, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Michèle A. Weynandt, 2014. "Selective Firing and Lemons," NRN working papers 2014-05, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

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