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The Gender Pay Gap in Top Corporate Jobs in Denmark: Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors or Both?

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Valdemar

    ()

    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Verner, Mette

    ()

    (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

This paper analyses the gender gap in compensation for CEOs, Vice-Directors, and potential top executives in the 2000 largest Danish private companies based on a panel data set of employer-employees data covering the period 1996-2005. During the period, the overall gender gap in compensation for top executives and potential top executives decreased from 35 percent to 31 percent. However, contrary to many other studies, we do not find that the gender gap for Danish top executives disappears when controlling for observed individual and firm characteristics and unobserved individual heterogeneity. For CEOs, the raw compensation gap is 28 percent during the period while the estimated compensation gap after controlling for observed and unobserved characteristics increases to 30 percent. For executives below the CEO level, the estimated compensation gap is lower, ranging from 15 to 20 percent. Thus, we find evidence of both glass ceilings and sticky floors in Danish private firms.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4848.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2011, 32 (2),156–177
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4848
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  1. Eriksson, Tor, 2001. "How common are the new compensation and work organization practices and who adopts them?," Working Papers 01-8, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Jurajda, Stepán & Paligorova, Teodora, 2009. "Czech female managers and their wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 342-351, June.
  3. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
  4. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina & Stratton, Leslie S., 2005. "Is Marriage Poisonous? Are Relationships Taxing? An Analysis of the Male Marital Wage Differential in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 1591, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender gap in top corporate jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
  6. Siri Terjesen & Val Singh, 2008. "Female Presence on Corporate Boards: A Multi-Country Study of Environmental Context," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Progress in the United States and Denmark," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
  10. Booth, Alison L, 2009. "Gender and Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 7437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. David Bjerk, 2008. "Glass Ceilings or Sticky Floors? Statistical Discrimination in a Dynamic Model of Hiring and Promotion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 961-982, 07.
  12. 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.
  13. Nina Smith & Valdemar Smith & Mette Verner, 2005. "Do Women in Top Management Affect Firm Performance? A Panel Study of 2500 Danish Firms," CIE Discussion Papers 2005-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  14. Elke Holst & Anne Busch, 2009. "Glass Ceiling Effect and Earnings: The Gender Pay Gap in Managerial Positions in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 201, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  15. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  16. 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.
  17. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
  18. B. Burcin Yurtoglu & Christine Zulehner, 2007. "The gender wage gap in top corporate jobs is still there," Vienna Economics Papers 0701, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  19. Ana Rute Cardoso & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2010. "Female-Led Firms and Gender Wage Policies," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(1), pages 143-163, October.
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