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Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms

We investigate whether immigrant and minority workers' poor access to high-wage jobs---that is, glass ceilings---is attributable to poor access to jobs in high-wage firms, a phenomenon we call glass doors. Our analysis uses linked employer-employee data to measure mean- and quantile-wage differentials of immigrants and ethnic minorities, both within and across firms. We find that glass ceilings exist for some immigrant groups, and that they are driven in large measure by glass doors. For some immigrant groups, the sorting of these workers across firms accounts for as much as half of the economy-wide wage disparity they face.

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File URL: http://www.sfu.ca/econ-research/RePEc/sfu/sfudps/dp08-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University in its series Discussion Papers with number dp08-02.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp08-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
Phone: (778)782-3508
Fax: (778)782-5944
Web page: http://www.sfu.ca/economics.html

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Order Information: Postal: Working Paper Coordinator, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
Web: http://www.sfu.ca/economics/research/publications.html Email:


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  1. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2008. "The Immigrant Wage Differential within and across Establishments," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 334-352, April.
  3. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  5. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2004. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Joshua Angrist & Victor Chernozhukov & Iván Fernández-Val, 2006. "Quantile Regression under Misspecification, with an Application to the U.S. Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 539-563, 03.
  7. Sara Rica & Juan Dolado & Vanesa Llorens, 2008. "Ceilings or floors? Gender wage gaps by education in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 777-778, July.
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