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Gender Differences in Job Assignment and Promotion on a Complexity Ladder of Jobs

  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas

    ()

    (Government Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki)

  • Vartiainen, Juhana

    ()

    (affiliation not available)

This paper studies gender differences in the allocation of workers across jobs of different complexity using panel data on Finnish metalworkers. These data provide a measure for the complexity of the workers' tasks that can be used to construct a complexity ladder of jobs. We study whether women have to meet higher productivity requirements than men in order to be assigned to more complex tasks. Gender differences in the promotion rates are examined. We use productivity measures that are based on the supervisors' performance evaluations and examine gender differences in the productivity of promoted and non-promoted workers. It is found that women start their careers in less complex tasks than men and that they are also less likely to get promoted than men who start in similar tasks. When we compare the productivity of men and women, both at the initial assignment and when some of these individuals have been promoted, we find that there is no gender-related productivity differential at the time of the initial assignment, but women become on average more productive than men afterwards, both in promoted and non-promoted subsets. The most plausible interpretation of these results is that women face a higher promotion threshold than men.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1184.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2006, 59 (2), 285-301
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1184
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  1. Larry D. Singell & John M. McDowell & James P. Ziliak, 1999. "Cracks in the Glass Ceiling: Gender and Promotion in the Economics Profession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 392-396, May.
  2. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Flabbi, Luca & Ichino, Andrea, 1998. "Productivity, Seniority and Wages: New Evidence from Personnel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Treble, John & van Gameren, Edwin & Bridges, Sarah & Barmby, Tim, 2001. "The internal economics of the firm: further evidence from personnel data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(5), pages 531-552, December.
  5. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 0278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
  7. Kathy J. Hayes & Donna K. Ginther, 1999. "Gender Differences in Salary and Promotion in the Humanities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 397-402, May.
  8. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory Of Wage And Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358, November.
  9. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
  10. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  11. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
  12. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1990. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Job Ladders," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S106-23, January.
  13. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
  14. Jones, David R & Makepeace, Gerald H, 1996. "Equal Worth, Equal Opportunities: Pay and Promotion in an Internal Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 401-09, March.
  15. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1997. "Unequal Assignment and Unequal Promotion in Job Ladders," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 43-71, January.
  16. Blau, Francine D & Ferber, Marianne A, 1987. "Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 316-20, May.
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