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Incentive pay and gender gaps in the Nordic countries

Author

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  • Westling, Tatu

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of incentive pay on gender pay gaps in Finland, Norway and Sweden among professionals and managers within MNCs. Mercer 2009 Total Remuneration Survey data is utilised. Uniform job ladder, occupation, industry and wage definitions enable consistent cross-country comparisons. In addition to the between-country variation, the within-country variation of gender gap with respect to incentive pay is analysed. The results indicate that gender pay gaps differ among the Nordics and that occupation and industry controls have dissimilar effects across countries. Irrespective of wage element, Finland and Norway are characterised by higher gender gaps than Sweden. Incentives tend to accentuate gender pay gaps. In intention to alleviate the absence of job performance data, this study utilises a rudimentary, promotion-based measure for job performance. In Finland it does affect the gender gap. However, irrespective of gender, high-performers are penalised in Sweden but not in Finland or Norway. The Finnish data also allows the identification of low-performers. Low job performance is rewarded in Finland. Nonetheless, the job performance findings should be interpreted with cautions.

Suggested Citation

  • Westling, Tatu, 2011. "Incentive pay and gender gaps in the Nordic countries," MPRA Paper 33083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33083
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/33083/1/MPRA_paper_33083.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2012. "Labor market policy: A comparative view on the costs and benefits of labor market flexibility," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 94-110, December.
    2. Rosholm, Michael & Smith, Nina, 1996. "The Danish Gender Wage Gap in the 1980s: A Panel Data Study," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 254-279, April.
    3. Tuomas Pekkarinen & Chris Riddell, 2008. "Performance Pay and Earnings: Evidence from Personnel Records," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 297-319, April.
    4. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-544, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage differential; incentive pay; job ladder; gender; job performance;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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