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The Austrian Pay Transparency Law and the Gender Wage Gap


  • Böheim, René

    (University of Linz)

  • Gust, Sarah

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)


In Austria, a gender pay transparency law was introduced in 2011, requiring companies with more than 1,000 employees to publish a pay report every other year. Firms with 500, 250, and 150 employees were subject to this requirement at later years. We estimate the impact of the law on men's wages, women's wages, and the gender pay gap using administrative data. The results from a regression discontinuity design suggest that the wage transparency law did not change wages or the gender wage gap. In larger firms, the wage of newly hired women increased more due to the reform than of newly hired men, suggesting that the gender wage gap decreased among newly hired workers. Our estimates of the effect of the law on employment growth or turnover are small, and statistically insignificant. For larger firms, we estimate that the transparency law led to a lower share of women in treated firms. These results are robust to several additional specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Böheim, René & Gust, Sarah, 2021. "The Austrian Pay Transparency Law and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 14206, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14206

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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).
    2. Bennedsen, Morten & Larsen, Birthe & Wei, Jiayi, 2022. "Wage Transparency and the Gender Pay Gap: A Survey," Working Papers 17-2022, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    3. Zoë B. Cullen & Bobak Pakzad‐Hurson, 2023. "Equilibrium Effects of Pay Transparency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 91(3), pages 765-802, May.
    4. Wolfgang Frimmel & Bernhard Schmidpeter & Rene Wiesinger & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2022. "Mandatory Wage Posting, Bargaining and the Gender Wage Gap," Economics working papers 2022-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Julien Picault, 2023. "A strategic approach to managerial compliance with equal pay policies," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 3(8), pages 1-21, August.
    6. Chen, Yunsi & Hu, Dezhuang, 2023. "Why are exporters more gender-friendly? Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    7. 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).
    8. Bamieh, Omar & Ziegler, Lennart, 2022. "Can Wage Transparency Alleviate Gender Sorting in the Labor Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 15363, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item


    wage transparency; gender wage gap;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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