Pay Transparency Intervention and the Gender Pay Gap: Evidence from the UK
34 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2022
This study investigates the impact of a pay transparency intervention in reducing the gender pay gap in the UK university sector. Introduced in 2007, the initiative enabled public access to average annual earnings disaggregated by gender in UK universities. We use a detailed matched employee-employer administrative dataset that follows individuals over time, allowing us to adopt a quasi-experimental approach based on event studies around the intervention. We find that the earnings of female academics increased by around 0.62 percentage points compared to their male counterparts as the control group, whose earnings remained constant after the pay transparency intervention, reducing the gender pay gap by 4.37%. Further evidence reveals that the main mechanism for the fall in the pay gap is driven by female employees negotiating higher wages, particularly among senior female academics.
Keywords: gender pay gap, pay transparency, higher education sector, wage level
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