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The Old Boy Network: Gender Differences in the Impact of Social Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs

Author

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  • Lalanne, Marie
  • Seabright, Paul

Abstract

Using an original dataset describing the career history of some 16,000 senior executives and members of the non-executive board of US, UK, French and German companies, we investigate gender differences in the use of social networks and their impact on earnings. There is a large gender wage gap: women (who make up 8.8% of our sample) earned average salaries of $168,000 in 2008, only 70% of the average $241,000 earned by men. This is not due to differences in age, experience or education levels. Women are more likely than men to be non-executives, whose salaries are lower; nevertheless, a substantial gender gap still exists among executives. We construct measures of the number of currently influential people each individual has encountered previously in his or her career. We find that executive men's salaries are an increasing function of the number of such individuals they have encountered in the past while women's are not. Controlling for this discrepancy, there is no longer a significant gender gap among executives. These findings are robust to the use of different years, to the use of salaried versus non-salaried remuneration, and to the use of panel estimation to control rigorously for unobserved individual heterogeneity. In contrast to executives, the salaries of non-executive board members do not display a significant gender wage gap, nor any gender difference in the effectiveness with which men and women leverage their links into salaries. This suggests that adoption of gender quotas for board membership, as has been enacted or proposed recently in several European countries, is unlikely to reduce the gender gap in earnings so long as such quotas do not distinguish between executive and non-executive board members.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "The Old Boy Network: Gender Differences in the Impact of Social Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs," IDEI Working Papers 689, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:25165
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Gender and Dynamic Agency: Theory and Evidence on the Compensation of Female Top Executives," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-061, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Estrin, Saul & Stephan, Ute & Vujić, Sunčica, 2014. "Do women earn less even as social entrepreneurs?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60606, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Berardi, Nicoletta & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "Professional Network and Career Coevolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 8632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ilse Lindenlaub & Anja Prummer, 2016. "Gender, Social Networks and Peformance," Working Papers 807, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2016. "The old boy network: The impact of professional networks on remuneration in top executive jobs," SAFE Working Paper Series 123, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    5. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Gulati, Kajal & Lybbert, Travis, 2015. "Information Networks among Women and Men and the Demand for an Agricultural Technology in India," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212209, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Ilse Lindenlaub & Anja Prummer, 2014. "Gender, Social Networks And Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1461, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • 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

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