IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Gender wage gap and the glass ceiling effect: a firm-level investigation

Listed author(s):
  • Christine Barnet-Verzat

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to assess the relevance of the glass ceiling effect, according to which the gender log wage gap accelerates in the upper tail of the wage distribution, at the firm level. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical analysis is based on a sample of 4,654 employees, working in a French private company from the Defence and Aerospace sector. Quantile wage regressions were used to study whether a glass ceiling effect exits at the firm level. The difference between the male and female wage distributions is also decomposed into two components, one due to differences in labour market characteristics between men and women and one due to differences in rewards to these individual characteristics. Findings - It was found that the gender wage gap measured through OLS is quite low, less than 8 per cent when controlling for age, experience, qualification and location. It remains rather flat along the wage distribution, a result which casts doubt on the glass ceiling theory. The gender gap is mainly due to differences in labour market characteristics rather than to differences in the rewards of these characteristics, especially among executives. Finally, women face a lower probability of reaching higher hierarchical positions within the firm. Research limitations/implications - Taking into account firm effects matters when measuring the magnitude of the gender wage throughout the wage gap distribution. Originality/value - This paper presents original estimates of the gender wage gap with an unusual, firm-based sample of workers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
Pages: 486-502

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:29:y:2008:i:6:p:486-502
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
Web: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:29:y:2008:i:6:p:486-502. 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: (Virginia Chapman)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.