NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Pay Transparency and the Gender Gap

Michael Baker, Yosh Halberstam, Kory Kroft, Alexandre Mas, Derek Messacar

NBER Working Paper No. 25834
Issued in May 2019, Revised in November 2019
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies Program, Public Economics Program

We examine the impact of public sector salary disclosure laws on university faculty salaries in Canada. The laws, which enable public access to the salaries of individual faculty if they exceed specified thresholds, were introduced in different provinces at different times. Using detailed administrative data covering the majority of faculty in Canada, and an event-study research design that exploits within-province variation in exposure to the policy across institutions and academic departments, we find robust evidence that that the laws reduced the gender pay gap between men and women by approximately 30 percent. There is suggestive evidence that higher female salaries contributed to the narrowing of the gender gap. The reduction in the gender gap is primarily in universities where faculty are unionized.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25834

 
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