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Pay Transparency Initiative and Gender Pay Gap: Evidence from Research-Intensive Universities in the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Gamage, Danula K.

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Kavetsos, Georgios

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Mallick, Sushanta

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Sevilla, Almudena

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Given the ongoing efforts to close the gender pay gap across different sectors in the UK, this paper investigates the impact of a pay transparency initiative on the gender pay gap in the university sector, focusing on the Russell Group of top-tier universities. The initiative, introduced in 2007, enabled public access to mean salaries of men and women in UK universities. Using a rich individual-level administrative dataset and a difference-in-differences approach comparing men and women, we document several key findings. First, following the pay transparency intervention, the log of salaries of female academics increased by around 0.62 percentage points compared to male counterparts, reducing the gender pay gap by 4.37%. The effect is more pronounced considering a balanced sample (1.27 percentage points increase in female wages or an 11.59% fall in the gender pay gap). This fall in the pay gap is mostly driven by senior female academics negotiating higher wages and female academics moving to universities with equal opportunity. We do not find any evidence of pre-existing wage gap or the gender composition associated with the fall in the gender pay gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Gamage, Danula K. & Kavetsos, Georgios & Mallick, Sushanta & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "Pay Transparency Initiative and Gender Pay Gap: Evidence from Research-Intensive Universities in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 13635, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13635
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Melanie K. & Kaya, Ezgi & Papps, Kerry L., 2022. "The Ongoing Impact of Gender Pay Gap Transparency Legislation," IZA Discussion Papers 15817, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Abudy, Menachem (Meni) & Aharon, David Y. & Shust, Efrat, 2023. "Can gender Pay-Gap disclosures make a difference?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
    3. Jones, Melanie K. & Kaya, Ezgi, 2022. "Organisational Gender Pay Gaps in the UK: What Happened Post-transparency?," IZA Discussion Papers 15342, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Duchini, Emma & Simion, Stefania & Turrell, Arthur, 2020. "Pay Transparency and Cracks in the Glass Ceiling," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1311, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    5. Katharina Brütt & Huaiping Yuan, 2022. "Pitfalls of pay transparency: Evidence from the lab and the field," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-055/I, Tinbergen Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender pay gap; pay transparency; higher education sector; wage level;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • 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
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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