Gender Differences in Promotion on a Job Ladder: Evidence from Finnish Metalworkers
This paper, using panel data on Finnish metalworkers for the years 1990– 2000, explores gender differences in the allocation of workers across jobs of different complexity. The data provide measures for the complexity of the workers’ tasks and for the individual productivity of each worker. The results indicate that women were less likely to be promoted than men who started their careers in similar tasks. A productivity comparison shows that there was no gender-related productivity differential at the time of the initial assignment, but that women became, on average, more productive than men afterward, in the subsets both of promoted workers and of non-promoted workers. The most plausible interpretation of these results, the authors argue, is that women faced a higher promotion threshold than men. Consistent with this interpretation, they find that the quit rate for young female workers was higher than that for young men.