Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Transparency?

71 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2019 Last revised: 4 Feb 2019

See all articles by Morten Bennedsen

Morten Bennedsen

INSEAD - Economics and Political Sciences; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Elena Simintzi

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Margarita Tsoutsoura

Cornell University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel Wolfenzon

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

We examine the effect of pay transparency on gender pay gap and firm outcomes. This paper exploits a 2006 legislation change in Denmark that requires firms to provide gender disaggregated wage statistics. Using detailed employee-employer administrative data and a difference-in-differences and difference-in-discontinuities designs, we find the law reduces the gender pay gap, primarily by slowing the wage growth for male employees. The gender pay gap declines by approximately two percentage points, or a 13% reduction relative to the pre-legislation mean. Despite the reduction of the overall wage bill, the wage-transparency mandate does not affect firm profitability, likely because of the offsetting effect of reduced firm productivity.

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Suggested Citation

Bennedsen, Morten and Simintzi, Elena and Tsoutsoura, Margarita and Wolfenzon, Daniel, Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Transparency? (January 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25435, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3315240

Morten Bennedsen (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Economics and Political Sciences ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
F-77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bygn 26
Copenhagen, 1353
Denmark

Elena Simintzi

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

McColl Building, Room 4200B
300 Kenan Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Margarita Tsoutsoura

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Daniel Wolfenzon

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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