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FIEF - Trade Union Institute for Economic Research Working Paper Series, FIEF - Trade Union Institute for Economic Research

No 184:
Gender Differences in Job Assignment and Promotion in a Complexity Ladder of Jobs

Tuomas Pekkarinen () and Juhana Vartiainen

Abstract: This paper studies gender differences in the allocation of workers across tasks of different complexity using panel data from a representative sample of Finnish metalworkers during 1990- 2000. Finnish metal industry data provide a continuous measure of the complexity of the worker’s tasks that can be used to construct a complexity ladder of jobs. We study whether women have to pass a higher productivity threshold to be promoted to more complex tasks. Gender differences in promotion rates, duration to promotion, and productivity among promoted and not promoted workers are estimated. It is found that women move up the ladder less than men, women have to wait longer to get promoted, and that women are on average more productive than men in the groups of both promoted and not-promoted workers. These productivity differentials are not observed within tasks at the initial task assignment. We interpret this as evidence on higher female promotion thresholds.

Keywords: Careers; Job ladders; Job complexity; Gender and wages; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J16; J24; J31; (follow links to similar papers)

27 pages, December 17, 2002

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