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Understanding the gender pay gap: what's competition got to do with it?

Manning, Alan and Saidi, Farzad (2008) Understanding the gender pay gap: what's competition got to do with it? CEP Discussion Paper, No. 898. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9780853283317

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Identification Number: No. 898


A number of papers have recently argued that men and women have different attitudes and behavioural responses to competition. Laboratory experiments suggest that these gender differences are very large but it is important to be able to map these findings into real world differences. In this paper, we use performance pay as an indicator of competition in the workplace and compare the gender gap in incidence of performance pay and earnings and work effort under these contracts. Women are less likely to found in performance pay contracts but the gender gap is small. Furthermore, the effect of performance pay on earnings is modest and does not differ markedly by gender. Consequently the ability of these theories to explain the gender pay gap seems very limited.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Series: Working Papers > CEP Discussion Papers
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2010 15:35
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2012 10:19

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