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New Workplace Practices and the Gender Wage Gap: Can the New Economy be the Great Equalizer?

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita


    (Aarhus University)

  • Eriksson, Tor


    (Aarhus School of Business)

We estimate the effect of introducing new workplace practices on the gender gap in wages in the manufacturing sector. We use a unique 1999 survey on work and compensation practices of Danish private sector firms merged to a large matched employer-employee database. Self-managed teams, project organisation and job rotation schemes are the most widely implemented work practices. Our estimates from a difference-in-differences model of wages and work practices show that the wage gains from adopting new workplace practices accrue mainly to males so that the gender gap in pay increases at the level of the firm, in particular among hourly-paid workers. Considering practices individually, however, a few exceptions are seen: the gender wage gap among salaried workers is significantly reduced in firms which offer project organisation, while the gap in pay among workers paid by the hour is significantly reduced with the use of quality control circles. All in all, however, the new economy is not the great equalizer.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2038.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2038
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  1. S Black & L Lynch, 1997. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0376, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Daniel Parent, 1999. "Methods of pay and earnings: A longitudinal analysis," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 71-86, October.
  3. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  4. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Donna S. Rothstein, 2005. "The Impact of Worker and Establishment-level Characteristics on Male-Female Wage Differentials: Evidence from Danish Matched Employee-Employer Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(1), pages 1-34, 03.
  5. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F97-F116, 02.
  6. Jaume Garcia Villar & Pedro J. Hernández & Ángel López-Nicolás, 2002. "An investigation of the relationship between job characteristics and the gender wage gap," Economics Working Papers 627, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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