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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Sissel Jensen

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Working Papers

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 publicly 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 gender disparity in earnings within that sector. We document that the newly (post-reform) appointed female board members were observably more qualified than their female predecessors, and that the gender gap in earnings within boards fell substantially. While the reform may have improved the representation of female employees at the very top of the earnings distribution (top 5 highest earners) within firms that were mandated to increase female participation on their board, there is no evidence that these gains at the ve...

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