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Gender Differences in Promotion on a Job Ladder: Evidence from Finnish Metalworkers


  • Tuomas Pekkarinen
  • Juhana Vartiainen


This paper, using panel data on Finnish metalworkers for the years 1990–2000, explores gender differences in the allocation of workers across jobs of different complexity. The data provide measures for the complexity of the workers' tasks and for the individual productivity of each worker. The results indicate that women were less likely to be promoted than men who started their careers in similar tasks. A productivity comparison shows that there was no gender-related productivity differential at the time of the initial assignment, but that women became, on average, more productive than men afterward, in the subsets both of promoted workers and of non-promoted workers. The most plausible interpretation of these results, the authors argue, is that women faced a higher promotion threshold than men. Consistent with this interpretation, they find that the quit rate for young female workers was higher than that for young men.

Suggested Citation

  • Tuomas Pekkarinen & Juhana Vartiainen, 2006. "Gender Differences in Promotion on a Job Ladder: Evidence from Finnish Metalworkers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 285-301, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:59:y:2006:i:2:p:285-301

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    Cited by:

    1. John T. Addison & Orgul Demet Ozturk & Si Wang, 2014. "The Role of Gender in Promotion and Pay over a Career," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 280-317.
    2. Biewen Martin & Seifert Stefanie, 2018. "Potential Parenthood and Career Progression of Men and Women – A Simultaneous Hazards Approach," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-22, April.
    3. Adrian Chadi & Laszlo Goerke, 2015. "Missing at Work – Sickness-related Absence and Subsequent Job Mobility," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201504, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    4. Laurent Gobillon & Dominique Meurs & Sébastien Roux, 2015. "Estimating Gender Differences in Access to Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 317-363.
    5. Benjamin Artz & Sarinda Taengnoi, 2019. "The Gender Gap in Raise Magnitudes of Hourly and Salary Workers," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 84-105, March.
    6. Paul M. Guest, 2016. "Executive Mobility and Minority Status," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 604-631, October.
    7. Kato, Takao & Ogawa, Hiromasa & Owan, Hideo, 2016. "Working Hours, Promotion and the Gender Gap in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 10454, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Antti Kauhanen, 2017. "Gender differences in corporate hierarchies," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 358-358, May.
    9. Lössbroek, Jelle & Radl, Jonas, 2019. "Teaching older workers new tricks: workplace practices and gender training differences in nine European countries," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 2170-2193.
    10. Cassidy, Hugh & DeVaro, Jed & Kauhanen, Antti, 2016. "Promotion signaling, gender, and turnover: New theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 140-166.
    11. Bredemeier, Christian, 2019. "Gender Gaps in Pay and Inter-Firm Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 12785, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Jed DeVaro & Antti Kauhanen, 2016. "An “Opposing Responses” Test of Classic versus Market-Based Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 747-779.
    13. Kato, Takao & Kodama, Naomi, 2017. "Women in the Workplace and Management Practices: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 10788, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Chadi, Adrian & Goerke, Laszlo, 2018. "Missing at work – Sickness-related absence and subsequent career events," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 153-176.
    15. Juho Jokinen & Jaakko Pehkonen, 2017. "Promotions and Earnings – Gender or Merit? Evidence from Longitudinal Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 306-334, September.

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