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Dangerous liaisons: a social network model for the gender wage gap

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  • Maarten Goos
  • Anna Salomons

Abstract

We combine stylized facts from social network literature with findings from the literature on the gender wage gap in a formal model. This model is based on employers’ use of social networks in the hiring process in order to assess employee productivity. As a result, there is a persistent gender wage gap, with women being underpaid relative to men after controlling for productivity characteristics. Networks exhibit inbreeding biases by productivity and by gender, which in combination with women’s lower network density cause women to be hired less often through referral, as well as receive a lower average referral wage premium. Finally, we use 2001-2006 UK Labour Force Survey data to test the hypotheses implied by our model. We find that networks do indeed account for a significant part of the gender wage gap for newly hired workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten Goos & Anna Salomons, 2007. "Dangerous liaisons: a social network model for the gender wage gap," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0722, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0722
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    Cited by:

    1. Hassink, Wolter & Russo, Giovanni, 2010. "The Glass Door: The Gender Composition of Newly-Hired Workers Across Hierarchical Job Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 4858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Michele Mosca & Francesco Pastore, 2009. "Wage Effects of Recruitment Methods: The Case of the Italian Social Service Sector," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Marco Musella & Sergio Destefanis (ed.), Paid and Unpaid Labour in the Social Economy. An International Perspective, edition 1, chapter 8, pages 115-141 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social networks; gender wage gap; imperfect information;

    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

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