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Gender Gaps and the Role of Bosses

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  • Moritz Drechsel-Grau
  • Felix Holub

Abstract

This paper investigates the contribution of managers to gender gaps and analyzes whether the over-representation of men in management positions puts women at a disadvantage. Relying on personnel data from one of the largest European manufacturing firms, we separate out the factors explaining gender gaps. Adjusted pay gaps are positive, which means that men earn more than observationally equivalent women. A significant share of pay gaps can be explained by the sorting of men and women to different managers. More importantly, gender gaps in bonus payments causally depend on the manager's gender. Accounting for worker and manager heterogeneity, bonus gaps are larger when the manager is male. This is driven by the fact that performance ratings are more favorable to men if handed out by a male manager. We present suggestive evidence that the relevance of manager gender for pay gaps is driven by discrimination rather than same-gender complementarities in productivity. However, independent of the root cause of these differences in evaluations by manager gender, the findings imply that a lower number of female managers increases gender gaps and thus constitutes a structural disadvantage for women.

Suggested Citation

  • Moritz Drechsel-Grau & Felix Holub, 2020. "Gender Gaps and the Role of Bosses," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_237, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:bon:boncrc:crctr224_2020_237
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    File URL: https://www.crctr224.de/en/research-output/discussion-papers/discussion-papers#DP237
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage gap; performance ratings; managers; manager gender; sorting; personnel data; unconscious discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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