Economics at your fingertips  

The more you know, the better you’re paid? Evidence from pay secrecy bans for managers

Ian Burn () and Kyle Kettler

Labour Economics, 2019, vol. 59, issue C, 92-109

Abstract: Approximately half of Americans are employed at firms where employees are forbidden or discouraged from discussing their pay with coworkers. Employees who violate these rules may be subject to punishment or dismissal. While many employees are legally protected from reprisal under the National Labor Rights Act, the law exempts managers from these protections. Eleven states have passed laws banning pay secrecy policies for managers. In this paper, we explore what effect these state laws had on the wages and employment of managers. We find pay secrecy bans increased the wages of managers by 3.5% but had no effect on the gender wage gap, job tenure, or labor supply. The effects are heterogeneous along a number of dimensions. Below the median wage, female managers experienced a 2.9% increase in their wages relative to male managers. Above the median wage, male managers experienced a 2.7% increase in their wages relative to female managers. The wage gains were concentrated among managers employed at firms with fewer than 500 employees.

Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2019.03.003

Access Statistics for this article

Labour Economics is currently edited by A. Ichino

More articles in Labour Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

Page updated 2020-05-02
Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:92-109