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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers and Publications by Sissel Jensen

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June 2014Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Effect of Board Quotas on Female Labor Market Outcomes in Norway
with Marianne Bertrand, Sandra E. Black, Adriana Lleras-Muney: w20256
In late 2003, Norway passed a law mandating 40 percent representation of each gender on the board of public limited liability companies. The primary objective of this reform was to increase the representation of women in top positions in the corporate sector and decrease the gender disparity in earnings within that sector. We document that the women appointed to these boards post-reform were observably more qualified than their female predecessors along many dimensions, and that the gender gap in earnings within boards fell substantially. On the other hand, we see no robust evidence that the reform benefited the larger set of women employed in the companies subject to the quota. Moreover, the reform had no clear impact on highly qualified women whose qualifications mirror those of board me...

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