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Glass Ceilings and Sticky Floors: A Representation Index

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  • Pendakur, Krishna
  • Pendakur, Ravi
  • Woodcock, Simon

Abstract

Recent research on glass ceilings and sticky floors has focused on the magnitude of differences between groups in the upper and lower quantile cutoffs of the conditional wage distribution. However, quantile cutoffs for different groups are only weakly informative of representation. For example, if the top decile cutoff is lower for minority than majority workers, this tells us that minority workers are under-represented in the top decile, but does not tell us the magnitude of the under-representation. In this paper, we propose a direct measure of the representation of a population subgroup, which we define as the proportion of group members whose earnings lie below (or above) a population earnings quantile. Our representation index is easily generalised to condition on characteristics (such as age, education, etc). Further, it generalizes naturally to an index of the severity (or cost) of under-representation to group members, which is based on dollar-weighted representation. Both representation and severity indices are easily calculated via existing regression techniques. We illustrate the approach using Canadian earnings data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 133.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:133

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Keywords: representation; glass ceiling; discrimination; quantile regression; expectile regression;

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  1. Mohamed Jellal & Christophe Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2006. "Theory and evidence on the glass ceiling effect using matched worker-firm data," Working Papers DT/2006/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  2. Newey, Whitney K & Powell, James L, 1987. "Asymmetric Least Squares Estimation and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 819-47, July.
  3. Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1996. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions and the Gender Gap," Cahiers de recherche 9607, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  5. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Hiau Joo Kee, 2005. "Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Exploring the Australian Gender Pay Gap using Quantile Regression and Counterfactual Decomposition Methods," CEPR Discussion Papers 487, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
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