IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/1300.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gender gaps in performance: Evidence from young lawyers

Author

Abstract

This paper documents and studies the gender gap in performance among associate lawyers in the United States. Unlike other high-skilled professions, the legal profession assesses performance using transparent measures that are widely used and comparable across firms: the number of hours billed to clients and the amount of new client revenue generated. We find clear evidence of a gender gap in annual performance with respect to both measures. Male lawyers bill ten percent more hours and bring in more than twice the new client revenue than do female lawyers. We demonstrate that the differential impact across genders in the presence of young children and differences in aspirations to become a law firm partner account for a large share of the difference in performance. We also show that accounting for performance has important consequences for gender gaps in lawyers’ earnings and subsequent promotion. Whereas individual and firm characteristics explain up to 50 percent of the earnings gap, the inclusion of performance measures explains a substantial share of the remainder. Performance measures also explain a sizeable share of the gender gap in promotion.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer Zarzuela, 2012. "Gender gaps in performance: Evidence from young lawyers," Economics Working Papers 1300, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1300
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1300.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Life-Cycle Labor Supply and Fertility: Causal Inferences from Household Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 328-348, April.
    2. John S. Heywood & Daniel Parent, 2012. "Performance Pay and the White-Black Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 249-290.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Sandra E. Black & Sissel Jensen & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Effect of Board Quotas on Female Labor Market Outcomes in Norway," NBER Working Papers 20256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hotz, V Joseph & Miller, Robert A, 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Life Cycle Fertility and Female Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 91-118, January.
    5. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1992. "The Market for Lawyers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 215-246, October.
    7. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2007. "Personnel Economics: The Economist's View of Human Resources," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
    8. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    9. Nicole M. Fortin, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    10. Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
    11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    12. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-1475, September.
    13. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-441, July.
    14. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    15. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    16. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
    17. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    18. de la Rica, Sara & Dolado, Juan J. & Vegas, Raquel, 2010. "Performance Pay and the Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 5032, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2012. "The Most Egalitarian of All Professions: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation," NBER Working Papers 18410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Nuno Garoupa & Fernando Gómez, 2002. "Cashing by the hour: Why large law firms prefer hourly fees over contingent fees," Economics Working Papers 639, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Karimi, Arizo & Lindahl, Erica & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2012. "Labour Supply Responses to Paid Parental Leave," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. V. Joseph Hotz & Per Johansson & Arizo Karimi, 2017. "Parenthood, Family Friendly Workplaces, and the Gender Gaps in Early Work Careers," NBER Working Papers 24173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Angelov, Nikolay & Johansson, Per & Lindahl, Erica, 2013. "Is the persistent gender gap in income and wages due to unequal family responsibilities?," Working Paper Series 2013:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. Adnan, Wifag & Miaari, Sami H., 2018. "Voting Patterns and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 11261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Cook, Cody & Diamond, Rebecca & Hall, Jonathan & List, John A. & Oyer, Paul, 2018. "The Gender Earnings Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from over a Million Rideshare Drivers," Research Papers repec:ecl:stabus:3637, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    6. Josef Montag, 2015. "What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 577-608, November.
    7. Nayoung Rim & Kyung Park, 2017. "The Gendered Effects of Career Concerns on Fertility," Departmental Working Papers 59, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    8. Holger Sieg & Yu Wang, 2017. "The Impact of Student Debt on Education, Career, and Marriage Choices of Female Lawyers," NBER Working Papers 23453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Collischon, Matthias, 2016. "Personality, ability, marriage and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Germany," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 08/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    10. Jan Sauermann, 2016. "Performance measures and worker productivity," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 260-260, May.
    11. Zeltzer, Dan, 2017. "Gender Homophily in Referral Networks: Consequences for the Medicare Physician Earnings Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 11230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Isabelle Sin & Steven Stillman & Richard Fabling, 2017. "What drives the gender wage gap? Examining the roles of sorting, productivity differences, and discrimination," Working Papers 17_15, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    13. Hengel, E., 2017. "Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1753, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    performance measures; gender gaps; high-skilled professionals;

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1300. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.