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Gender Differences in Job Assignment and Promotion on a Complexity Ladder of Jobs

24 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2004  

Tuomas Pekkarinen

Aalto University; University of Oxford - Nuffield College; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Juhana Vartiainen

Labour Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

This paper studies gender differences in the allocation of workers across jobs of different complexity using panel data on Finnish metalworkers. These data provide a measure for the complexity of the workers' tasks that can be used to construct a complexity ladder of jobs. We study whether women have to meet higher productivity requirements than men in order to be assigned to more complex tasks. Gender differences in the promotion rates are examined. We use productivity measures that are based on the supervisors' performance evaluations and examine gender differences in the productivity of promoted and non-promoted workers. It is found that women start their careers in less complex tasks than men and that they are also less likely to get promoted than men who start in similar tasks. When we compare the productivity of men and women, both at the initial assignment and when some of these individuals have been promoted, we find that there is no gender-related productivity differential at the time of the initial assignment, but women become on average more productive than men afterwards, both in promoted and non-promoted subsets. The most plausible interpretation of these results is that women face a higher promotion threshold than men.

Keywords: promotions, gender wage gap, discrimination

JEL Classification: J0, J7

Suggested Citation

Pekkarinen, Tuomas and Vartiainen, Juhana, Gender Differences in Job Assignment and Promotion on a Complexity Ladder of Jobs (June 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1184. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=562451

Tuomas Pekkarinen (Contact Author)

Aalto University ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
Helsinki, 00101
Finland

University of Oxford - Nuffield College ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Juhana Vartiainen

Labour Institute for Economic Research ( email )

FIN-00530 Helsinki
Finland

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