Friday, August 24, 2018

Pay transparency, by Cullen and Pakzad-Hurson

Here's a contribution to the sometimes confusing debate about salary transparency.

''Equilibrium Effects of Pay Transparency in a Simple Labor Market"

Zoe B. Cullen and Bobak Pakzad-Hurson

Abstract: Public discourse on pay transparency has not focused on equilibrium effects:  how greater transparency  impacts  hiring  and  bargaining.   To  study  these  effects,  we  combine  a  dynamic  wage-bargaining model with unique data of temporary work arrangements that differ in their level of transparency.  Full transparency lowers wages by up to 25% and increases hiring by similar magnitudes.  Earnings inequality falls, and employer profits rise significantly.  A key intuition is high transparency commits employers to negotiating aggressively, because a highly paid worker’s salary affects  negotiations  with  other  workers.   We  discuss  implications  for  the  gender  wage  gap  and employers’ endogenous transparency choices.


Here are some earlier posts that touch on related issues:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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