Salary Transparency and Gender Pay Inequality: Evidence from Canadian Universities

51 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2022

See all articles by Elizabeth Lyons

Elizabeth Lyons

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Laurina Zhang

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Date Written: December 19, 2022

Abstract

We examine whether salary transparency influences gender pay inequality in the context of Canadian universities by exploiting a policy change enacted in one Canadian province that required salary disclosure through a publicly searchable database, thus lowering the cost of monitoring the gender pay gap. We find that, on average, salary disclosure improves gender pay equality but institutions respond in different ways. Despite little media attention around gender equality at the time of the policy, institutions most likely to anticipate higher scrutiny, such as top ranked institutions, respond more aggressively to improve gender pay equality---both in terms of the magnitude and type of response. Combined, our findings suggest that the extent of change from salary transparency depends on the reduction in monitoring costs and organizational characteristics.

Keywords: Salary transparency, Gender inequality, Monitoring, Scrutiny, Universities

JEL Classification: J0, J16, J3, J31

Suggested Citation

Lyons, Elizabeth and Zhang, Laurina, Salary Transparency and Gender Pay Inequality: Evidence from Canadian Universities (December 19, 2022). Forthcoming at Strategic Management Journal, Boston University Questrom School of Business Research Paper No. 4308197, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4308197

Elizabeth Lyons

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Laurina Zhang (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.bu.edu/questrom/profile/laurina-zhang/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
125
Abstract Views
414
Rank
419,352
PlumX Metrics