Manager Impartiality: Worker-Firm Matching and the Gender Wage Gap
Using a rich matched employer-employee data set from Sweden, the author examines whether female managers in a firm narrow the gender pay gap. The study’s main contribution is its ability to account for unobserved heterogeneity among both workers and firms that is potentially correlated with manager gender. The results show a substantial negative association between the representation of female managers and the establishment’s gender wage gap. Estimates that account for sorting on unobserved worker skills, however, do not support the conclusion that managers favor same-sex workers in wage setting. Additional results show that organizations with more female managers recruit more nonmanagerial, high-wage women. Together these findings suggest that associations between manager gender and male-female wage gaps should be interpreted with caution, as worker sorting seems to be a crucial component behind this relationship.