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Do high-performance work practices exacerbate or mitigate the gender pay gap?

Davies, Rhys ORCID:, McNabb, Robert and Whitfield, Keith ORCID: 2015. Do high-performance work practices exacerbate or mitigate the gender pay gap? Cambridge Journal of Economics 39 (2) , pp. 537-564. 10.1093/cje/bev009

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The impact of performance-oriented work practices on the gender pay gap has been the subject of considerable conjecture but little empirical investigation. Using the 2004 and 2011 British Workplace Employment Relations Surveys, the analysis finds that whilst average earnings are significantly higher for men and women across private sector workplaces that have introduced so-called high-performance work practices, the presence of such practices is not associated with a narrowing of the gender pay gap and, if anything, tends to exacerbate the differential in earnings between men and women. Data from the 2004 survey suggest that women are more likely to work in high-performance workplaces, but this is not the case for 2011. There is no evidence that gender segregation is significantly less in high-performance workplaces than in workplaces taking a more traditional route. Policy makers and employing organisations therefore need to be careful in reconciling their performance and equality strategies. In particular, they need to examine whether the former are truly gender-neutral. This requires additional measures, possibly the introduction of human resource audits in the public and private sectors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Additional Information: This article appears in:Special Issue: Equal Pay as a Moving Target: International perspectives on forty-years of addressing the gender pay gap
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
ISSN: 0309-166X
Date of Acceptance: 19 December 2014
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 11:35

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