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The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs

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  • Marianne Bertrand
  • Kevin F. Hallock

Abstract

Using the ExecuComp data set, which contains information on the five highest-paid executives in each of a large number of U.S. firms for the years 1992–97, the authors examine the gender compensation gap among high-level executives. Women, who represented about 2.5% of the sample, earned about 45% less than men. As much as 75% of this gap can be explained by the fact that women managed smaller companies and were less likely to be CEO, Chair, or company President. The unexplained gap falls to less than 5% with an allowance for the younger average age and lower average seniority of the female executives. These results do not rule out the possibility of discrimination via gender segregation or unequal promotion. Between 1992 and 1997, however, women nearly tripled their participation in the top executive ranks and also strongly improved their relative compensation, mostly by gaining representation in larger corporations.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:55:y:2001:i:1:p:3-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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