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Performance Pay and the White-Black Wage Gap

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  • John S. Heywood
  • Daniel Parent

Abstract

We show that the reported tendency for performance pay to be associated with greater wage inequality at the top of the earnings distribution applies only to white workers. This results in the white-black wage differential among those in performance pay jobs growing over the earnings distribution even as the same differential shrinks over the distribution for those not in performance pay jobs. We show this remains true even when examining suitable counterfactuals that hold observables constant between whites and blacks. We explore reasons behind our finding that performance pay is associated with greater racial earnings gaps at the top of the wage distribution focusing on the interactions between discrimination, unmeasured ability and selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0916.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0916

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Keywords: Racial wage differentials; compensation practices;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maury Gittleman, & Brooks Pierce,, 2013. "Pay for Performance and Compensation Inequality: Evidence from the ECEC," Working Papers 465, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  2. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer Zarzuela, 2012. "Gender gaps in performance: Evidence from young lawyers," Economics Working Papers 1300, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2012.
  3. Colin Green & John Heywood, 2012. "Don't Forget the Gravy! Are Bonuses and Time Rates Complements?," Working Papers 13424023, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  4. Colin P. Green & John S. Heywood & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2012. "Performance Pay and Ethnic Wage Differences in Britain," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 06-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  5. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "The Modern Corporation as a Safe Haven for Taste-Based Discrimination: An Agency Model of Hiring Decisions," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/88635, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  7. Merlino, Luca Paolo, 2012. "Discrimination, technology and unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 557-567.
  8. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes & David C. Maré, 2012. "Performance Pay Systems and the Gender Wage Gap," Working Papers 12_13, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  9. Katrin Sommerfeld, 2012. "Higher and Higher?: Performance Pay and Wage Inequality in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 476, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2014. "Revisiting Class-Size Effects: Where They Come From and How Long They Last," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0102, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).

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