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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Eriksson, Tor, 2006. "New Workplace Practices and the Gender Wage Gap: Can the New Economy be the Great Equalizer?," IZA Discussion Papers 2038, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2038

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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 97-116, February.
    2. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    3. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
    4. Daniel Parent, 1999. "Methods of Pay and Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 71-86, October.
    5. 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, March.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anja Heinze & Elke Wolf, 2010. "The intra-firm gender wage gap: a new view on wage differentials based on linked employer–employee data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 851-879, June.
    2. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes & David C. Maré, 2012. "Performance Pay Systems and the Gender Wage Gap," Working Papers 12_13, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    3. Wolf, Elke & Heinze, Anja, 2007. "How to Limit Discrimination? Analyzing the Effects of Innovative Workplace Practices on Intra-Firm Gender Wage Gaps Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-077, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item


    new workplace practices; employer-employee data; wage differentials; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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