Equal Opportunity? Gender Gaps in CEO Appointments and Executive Pay

48 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2016 Last revised: 27 Feb 2016

Matti Keloharju

Aalto University School of Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Samuli Knüpfer

BI Norwegian Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Joacim Tåg

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: February 9, 2016

Abstract

This paper uses exceptionally rich data on Swedish corporate executives and their personal characteristics to study gender gaps in CEO appointments and pay. Both gaps are sizeable: 18% for CEO appointments and 27% for pay. At most one-eight of the gaps can be attributed to observable gender differences in executives’ and their firms’ characteristics. Further tests suggest that unobservable gender differences in characteristics are unlikely to account for the remaining gaps. Instead, our results are consistent with the view that male and female executives sharing equal attributes neither have equal opportunities to reach the top, nor are they equally paid.

JEL Classification: G34, J16; J24; J31

Suggested Citation

Keloharju, Matti and Knüpfer, Samuli and Tåg, Joacim, Equal Opportunity? Gender Gaps in CEO Appointments and Executive Pay (February 9, 2016). IFN Working Paper No. 1111; Harvard Business School Research Paper Series No. 16-092. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2730207

Matti Keloharju (Contact Author)

Aalto University School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
AALTO, FI-00076
Finland

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Samuli Knüpfer

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.samuliknupfer.com

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Joacim Tåg

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

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