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Equality for Whom? Organizational Policies and the Gender Gap across the German Earnings Distribution

Matt L. Huffman, Joe King and Malte Reichelt

ILR Review, 2017, vol. 70, issue 1, 16-41

Abstract: Work establishments are critical for the creation and maintenance of gender inequality. Organizational practices, most notably those that formalize personnel systems or target gender inequality, are often assumed to have uniform effects on inequality across the wage hierarchy. This assumption has eluded careful empirical scrutiny. The authors estimate unconditional quantile regressions with a unique German linked employer-employee data set to assess whether formalized human resource practices, female-friendly diversity measures, and the availability of workplace child care facilities affect wage inequality differently across the wage distribution. While these policies reduce gender inequality in general, they do so more strongly near the bottom of the earnings distribution. Policies that formalize personnel systems and explicitly promote female employees are particularly advantageous to women in low-wage jobs. These results suggest that gender policies have a more subtle effect on earnings inequality than previously recognized, requiring scholars and practitioners to investigate their unique effects at various points of the earnings distribution.

Keywords: economic inequality; quantile regression; organizational behavior; labor and employment policies; female labor (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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