The purpose of this paper is to investigate the existence of sticky floor and glass ceiling effects in the gender wage gap (GWG) among Spanish managers. In addition, the paper determines if the pay gap at every quantile is a result of the gender characteristic differences, or the differences in returns to those characteristics.
The paper exploits a counterfactual decomposition analysis, using quantile regression, to decompose the GWG into one component that is based on differences in characteristics and one component that is based on differences in coefficients across the wage distribution.
A significant GWG over all the wage distribution is found. Such a gap exhibits a clear U-shaped pattern, thus pointing out both significant sticky floor and glass ceiling effects. Furthermore, the paper shows that such pattern is mainly determined by the coefficient effect, whose relative incidence is almost continuously increasing along the wage distribution.
While it is difficult to give a definitive explanation for the significant U-shaped pattern in the GWG and for the bigger incidence of the glass ceiling, the authors suggest two possible explanations that are consistent with these findings. The paper leaves the identification of these explanations to future research.
The pattern of rising coefficient effects at higher quantiles suggests that the glass ceiling is a more relevant question than the sticky floor. Indeed, at the highest wage quantiles, differences in characteristics make essentially no contribution to the overall wage gap. This suggests that upper-echelon female managers have the same characteristics as their male counterparts, which emphasizes the role of discrimination for these top-level jobs.
Despite the general GWG has been largely investigated, the analysis of a wage differential among managerial workers has certainly drawn much less attention. In particular just a few papers have investigated the existence of sticky floors and glass ceiling among managers. In addition, as to Spain, there is no empirical survey investigating and decomposing the gender pay gap among managers.
Part of this research was carried out while the author was visiting the Queen Mary University of London and the author would like to thank the School of Economics and Finance for its hospitality and support. The author is grateful to Marco Biagetti, Sergio De Stefanis, Iñaki Iriondo, Marco Marini and Ronald L. Oaxaca for their valuable suggestions and comments. The author also thanks the Editor-in-Chief Adrian Ziderman as well as two anonymous referees for providing constructive comments and help in improving the contents of this paper. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and, in particular, do not necessarily reflect those of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The usual disclaimer applies.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited