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Promotion and Wages in Mid-Career: Gender, Unionism, and Sector


  • Addison, John T.

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Ozturk, Orgul Demet

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Wang, Si

    () (Hunan University)


This paper considers the role of gender in the promotion process and the impact of promotion on wages and wage growth, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). Its focus is upon mid-career promotion and wages, thereby complementing extant studies of the NLSY79 that relate to differences between men and women at an earlier stage in their careers. The paper is further differentiated from these studies and the wider promotions literature in considering the role of unionism and the public sector. It is reported that mid-career females are more likely than males to be promoted in the private sector (and no less likely in the public sector); that wages are increasing in promotion, and the effect is generally higher for females; and that female wage growth from contemporaneous promotion is almost as high as that for males in the private sector and much higher in the public sector. These rather positive results for females represent in most cases an improvement over the early-career findings but in mid-career the mediating influence of unionism is more negative, and not just for females.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Ozturk, Orgul Demet & Wang, Si, 2012. "Promotion and Wages in Mid-Career: Gender, Unionism, and Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 6873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6873

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    2. Cobb-Clark, D., 1998. "Getting Ahead: the Determinants of and Payoffs to Internal Promotion for Young Men and Women," CEPR Discussion Papers 395, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    3. Jones, David R & Makepeace, Gerald H, 1996. "Equal Worth, Equal Opportunities: Pay and Promotion in an Internal Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 401-409, March.
    4. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    5. Stephen J. Spurr, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Study of Promotion," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 406-417, July.
    6. Jonathan E. Booth & John W. Budd & Kristen M. Munday, 2010. "Never Say Never? Uncovering the Never-Unionized in the United States," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 26-52, March.
    7. Jed Devaro & Dana Brookshire, 2007. "Promotions and Incentives in Nonprofit and for-Profit Organizations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(3), pages 311-339, April.
    8. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
    9. Michael R. Pergamit & Jonathan R. Veum, 1999. "What is a Promotion?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 581-601, July.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item


    unionism; public sector; gender; wage growth; promotion; wages; early career; mid-career;

    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
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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