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Firm leadership and the gender pay gap: Do active owners discriminate more than hired managers?


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  • Hirsch, Boris
  • Mueller, Steffen


Auf Grundlage eines großen kombinierten Firmen-Beschäftigten-Datensatzes untersuchen wir Unterschiede im unerklärten geschlechtsspezifischen Lohndifferential zwischen eigentümer- und managergeführten Betrieben für Deutschland. Wir stellen die Hypothese auf, dass eigentümergeführte Betriebe höhere Lohndifferentiale aufweisen sollten, da diskriminierende aktive Eigentümer im Vergleich zu diskriminierenden angestellten Managern in der Auslebung ihrer gewinnsenkenden diskriminatorischen Präferenzen weniger eingeschränkt sein dürften. Empirisch finden wir statistisch wie ökonomisch signifikant höhere Lohndifferentiale in eigentümergeführten Betrieben. Eine gründlichere Untersuchung dieser Ergebnisse durch Beschränkung der Stichproben auf hinreichend ähnliche eigentümer- und managergeführte Betriebe lässt diese markanten Lohndifferentiale jedoch verschwinden. Unsere Ergebnisse deuten daher nicht darauf hin, dass aktive Eigentümer per se mehr diskriminieren. -- Using a large linked employer-employee data set for Germany, we investigate differences in the unexplained gender pay gap between owner-run and manager-run firms. We hypothesise that owner-run firms have higher pay gaps because active owners are less inhibited to live out profit-reducing discriminatory preferences against women than hired managers. We indeed find that the pay gaps are significantly higher in owner-run plants, both statistically and economically. Yet, scrutinising these results by restricting our analysis to plants that only differ in leadership regime, this substantial difference disappears. Therefore, our findings do not support that active owners are more discriminatory per se.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 72.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:72

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Keywords: gender pay gap; firm leadership; Germany;

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  1. Hirsch, Boris & Schnabel, Claus, 2010. "Women move differently: Job separations and gender," Discussion Papers 69, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  2. Mosthaf, Alexander & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Low-wage employment versus unemployment: which one provides better prospects for women?," Discussion Papers 65, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  3. Jung, Sven & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Paying More than Necessary? The Wage Cushion in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4278, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. List, Juliane & Schnabel, Claus & Klaus, Anton, 2010. "Erfolg und Misserfolg bei der Ausbildungsplatzsuche: Eine empirische Untersuchung von Hauptschülern im Landkreis Nürnberger Land," Discussion Papers 67, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
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