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Not just a formality: pay system formalization and sex-related earnings effects

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Drawing on neoclassical economic, internal labor market, and devaluation theories, the authors examine how the sex composition of jobs and the sex of individual workers affect earnings, depending upon the formalization of the pay type. Using personnel data for over 8,000 employees, they confirm the existence of a negative relationship between earnings and the proportion female in a job. They also find that for less formalized pay types (cash incentive bonuses), sex composition and individual sex effects are larger for more formalized pay (merit raises and base salary). Together, these findings support devaluation explanations, suggest that incentive bonuses may widen the gender earnings gap, and have implications for the design of pay structures in organizations.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2002/2002-80.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved