Pay Transparency and the Gender Gap

Articles and reports: 11F0019M2019018


This paper examines the impact of public sector salary disclosure laws on university faculty salaries in Canada. These laws, which give the public access to the salaries of individual faculty members if they exceed specified thresholds, were introduced in different provinces at different points in time. One of the most persistent and salient features of labour markets around the world is that women earn less than men. A hypothesis recently gaining traction among academic researchers and policy makers is that the gender earnings gap persists in part because it is hidden. There have also been calls in the private sector for more transparency on pay discrepancies between male and female workers. This paper provides new evidence on the causal effect of pay transparency laws on salaries.

Issue Number: 2019018
Author(s): Baker, Michael; Messacar, Derek; Halberstam, Yosh ; Kroft, Kory; Mas, Alexandre
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLSeptember 16, 2019
PDFSeptember 16, 2019