IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/labeco/v59y2019icp92-109.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The more you know, the better you’re paid? Evidence from pay secrecy bans for managers

Author

Listed:
  • Burn, Ian
  • Kettler, Kyle

Abstract

Approximately half of Americans are employed at firms where employees are forbidden or discouraged from discussing their pay with coworkers. Employees who violate these rules may be subject to punishment or dismissal. While many employees are legally protected from reprisal under the National Labor Rights Act, the law exempts managers from these protections. Eleven states have passed laws banning pay secrecy policies for managers. In this paper, we explore what effect these state laws had on the wages and employment of managers. We find pay secrecy bans increased the wages of managers by 3.5% but had no effect on the gender wage gap, job tenure, or labor supply. The effects are heterogeneous along a number of dimensions. Below the median wage, female managers experienced a 2.9% increase in their wages relative to male managers. Above the median wage, male managers experienced a 2.7% increase in their wages relative to female managers. The wage gains were concentrated among managers employed at firms with fewer than 500 employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Burn, Ian & Kettler, Kyle, 2019. "The more you know, the better you’re paid? Evidence from pay secrecy bans for managers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 92-109.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:92-109
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2019.03.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537119300284
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ian Burn, 2018. "Not All Laws are Created Equal: Legal Differences in State Non-Discrimination Laws and the Impact of LGBT Employment Protections," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 462-497, December.
    2. Marcus Dittrich & Andreas Knabe & Kristina Leipold, 2014. "Gender Differences In Experimental Wage Negotiations," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 862-873, April.
    3. Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2015. "Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(9), pages 2016-2024, September.
    4. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Taber, 2011. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 113-125, February.
    5. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo, 2014. "Trends in China’s gender employment and pay gap: Estimating gender pay gaps with employment selection," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 708-725.
    6. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    7. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2019. "Children and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Denmark," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 181-209, October.
    8. Jonathan Fisher & Christina Houseworth, 2012. "The reverse wage gap among educated White and Black women," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(4), pages 449-470, December.
    9. Robert Jäckle & Oliver Himmler, 2010. "Health and Wages: Panel Data Estimates Considering Selection and Endogeneity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
    10. Marieka Klawitter, 2011. "Multilevel analysis of the effects of antidiscrimination policies on earnings by sexual orientation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 334-358, March.
    11. Whitney K. Newey, 2009. "Two-step series estimation of sample selection models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(s1), pages 217-229, January.
    12. Francis Vella, 1998. "Estimating Models with Sample Selection Bias: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 127-169.
    13. Patrick Button, 2018. "Expanding Employment Discrimination Protections for Individuals with Disabilities: Evidence from California," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 71(2), pages 365-393, March.
    14. Marlene Kim, 2015. "Pay Secrecy and the Gender Wage Gap in the United States," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 648-667, October.
    15. Jane Herr, 2016. "Measuring the effect of the timing of first birth on wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 39-72, January.
    16. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    17. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & Lai, Lei, 2007. "Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 84-103, May.
    18. Nils Hesse & María Fernanda Rivas, 2015. "Does managerial compensation affect workers’ effort?," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 18, pages 297-324, November.
    19. Gary Charness & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos & Jose Maria Perez, 2016. "Social comparisons in wage delegation: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 433-459, June.
    20. Joanna Lahey, 2008. "State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-460, August.
    21. Chzhen, Yekaterina & Mumford, Karen, 2011. "Gender gaps across the earnings distribution for full-time employees in Britain: Allowing for sample selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 837-844.
    22. Daniele Nosenzo, 2013. "Pay Secrecy And Effort Provision," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1779-1794, July.
    23. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 2006. "The Labor Market Effects of Sex and Race Discrimination Laws," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 385-419, July.
    24. Newey, Whitney K., 1999. "Consistency of two-step sample selection estimators despite misspecification of distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 129-132, May.
    25. Jane Leber Herr, 2016. "Measuring the effect of the timing of first birth on wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 39-72, January.
    26. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
    27. Marieka M. Klawitter & Victor Flatt, 1998. "The effects of state and local antidiscrimination policies on earnings for gays and lesbians," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 658-686.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Duchini, Emma & Simion, Stefania & Turrell, Arthur, 2020. "Pay Transparency and Cracks in the Glass Ceiling," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 482, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Emma Duchini & Stefania Simion & Arthur Turrell, 2020. "Pay Transparency and Cracks in the Glass Ceiling," Papers 2006.16099, arXiv.org.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:92-109. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.