ILR Review: Open Access of Current Issue about Gender & Employment Relations

See below a message from Rosemary Batt and Lawrence Kahn, editors of ILR Review:


Please take advantage of free downloads of all articles and book reviews in our May special issue on gender and employment relations. Good through June 20, 2020.

The May issue continues our long term interest in and commitment to research on gender and the employment relationship.  It includes research on the impact of sexual orientation on labor market outcomes, gender quotas on corporate boards, the behavior of female managers, and the intersection of religious and gender discrimination.  In addition, the issue includes research on the appropriate use of statistics in assessing the extent of discrimination based on race and gender.  The papers in this issue use unique data and state of the art methods to study an area of great policy importance and public interest.

Also note our special book review section on

Technological Encounters: How New Writing on Technology Can Inform Modern Labor Studies (guest editors Steve Viscelli and Beth Gutelius)

We hope you are well during this difficult crisis.


Rose Batt and Larry Kahn

If you have any difficulty gaining access to articles, please contact Tom Rushmer for your special editorial board member access link – (

ILR Review Volume: 73, Number: 3 (May 2020)


Transgender Status, Gender Identity, and Socioeconomic Outcomes in the United States
Christopher S. Carpenter, Samuel T. Eppink, and Gilbert Gonzales

Abstract: This article provides the first large-scale evidence on transgender status, gender identity, and socioeconomic outcomes in the United States, using representative data from 35 states in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which asked identical questions about transgender status and gender identity during at least one year from 2014 to 2017. More than 2,100 respondents, aged 18 to 64 years, identified as transgender. Individuals who identify as transgender are significantly less likely to be college educated and less likely to identify as heterosexual than are individuals who do not identify as transgender. Controlling for these and other observed characteristics, transgender individuals have significantly lower employment rates, lower household incomes, higher poverty rates, and worse self-rated health compared to otherwise similar men who are not transgender.

Multiple Discrimination against Female Immigrants Wearing Headscarves
Doris Weichselbaumer

Abstract: Western countries have experienced a large influx of Muslim immigrants, and concomitantly the Muslim headscarf has become the subject of major controversy. Drawing on theories of stigma, social identity, and multiple discrimination/intersectionality, this study examines the effect of wearing this headscarf in the German labor market. The author applies the method of correspondence testing that allows measuring discrimination in a controlled field setting. Findings show that when applying for a job in Germany, women with a Turkish migration background are less likely to be invited for an interview, and the level of discrimination increases substantially if the applicant wears a headscarf. The results suggest that immigrant women who wear a headscarf suffer discrimination based on multiple stigmas related to ethnicity and religion.

Hukou Status and Individual-Level Labor Market Discrimination: An Experiment in China
Uwe Dulleck, Jonas Fooken, and Yumei He

Abstract: This article examines discrimination based on hukou status, a legal construct that segregates locals and migrants in urban China. Local and migrant household helpers were recruited as experimental participants to interact in a standard gift exchange game (GEG) as well as a new variant of the GEG, called the wage promising game (WPG). The WPG uses non-binding wage offers and final wages that employers set after observing effort. In the GEG, both statistical and preference-based discrimination may motivate employers to offer lower wages to migrants than to locals, whereas in the WPG the statistical motive is excluded. Results reveal discrimination against migrants and show that preference-based discrimination is an important employer motive.

The Relationship between Prejudice and Wage Penalties for Gay Men in the United States
Ian Burn

Abstract: This article estimates the empirical relationship between prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuality and the wages of gay men in the United States. It combines data on prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuality from the General Social Survey with data on wages from the U.S. Decennial Censuses and American Community Surveys—both aggregated to the state level. The author finds that a one standard deviation increase in the share of individuals in a state who are prejudiced toward homosexuals is correlated with a decrease in the wages of gay men of between 2.7% and 4.0%. The results also suggest that the prejudice of managers is responsible for this correlation. The author finds that a one standard deviation increase in the share of the managers in a state who are prejudiced toward homosexuals is associated with a 1.9% decrease in the wages of gay men. The author finds no evidence that the wage penalty for gay men is correlated with the prejudice of customers or co-workers.

Are Female Managers More Likely to Hire More Female Managers? Evidence from Germany
Mario Bossler, Alexander Mosthaf, and Thorsten Schank

Abstract: This article investigates whether there is state dependence in the gender composition of managers in German establishments; that is, whether the number of hired female managers depends on the past hiring decisions of an establishment. Using administrative data, the authors apply dynamic linear models, thereby accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and the endogeneity of lagged dependent variables. Results show that hiring female managers leads to the hiring of more female managers in the subsequent period. Hiring rates for male managers follow a similar pattern in that they are more likely to hire more male managers.

Winner of the 2019 Best Paper Competition:

LERA/ILR Review Special Series in Employment Relations

Average Gaps and Oaxaca–Blinder Decompositions: A Cautionary Tale about Regression Estimates of Racial Differences in Labor Market Outcomes
Tymon Słoczyński

Abstract: Using a recent result from the program evaluation literature, the author demonstrates that the interpretation of regression estimates of between-group differences in wages and other economic outcomes depends on the relative sizes of subpopulations under study. When the disadvantaged group is small, regression estimates are similar to the average loss for disadvantaged individuals. When this group is a numerical majority, regression estimates are similar to the average gain for advantaged individuals. The author analyzes racial test score gaps using ECLS-K data and racial wage gaps using CPS, NLSY79, and NSW data, and shows that the interpretation of regression estimates varies substantially across data sets. Methodologically, he develops a new version of the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition, in which the unexplained component recovers a parameter referred to as the average outcome gap. Under additional assumptions, this estimand is equivalent to the average treatment effect. Finally, the author reinterprets the Reimers, Cotton, and Fortin decompositions in the context of the program evaluation literature, with attention to the limitations of these approaches.

Occupational Skill Mismatch: Differences by Gender and Cohort
John T. Addison, Liwen Chen, and Orgul D. Ozturk

Abstract: The authors deploy a measure of occupational mismatch based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the array of abilities possessed by the worker for learning those skills. Using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79 and NLSY97), they report distinct gender differences in match quality and changes in match quality over the course of careers. They also show that a substantial portion of the gender wage gap stems from match quality differences among the college educated. College-educated females show a significantly greater likelihood of mismatch than do males. Moreover, individuals with children and those in more flexible occupations tend to experience a larger degree of mismatch. Cohort effects are also evident in the data: College-educated males of the younger cohort (NLSY97) are worse off in terms of match quality compared to the older cohort (NLSY79), even as the younger cohort of women is doing better on average.

Where Women Make a Difference: Gender Quotas and Firms’ Performance in Three European Countries
Simona Comi, Mara Grasseni, Federica Origo, and Laura Pagani

Abstract: The authors study the effect of corporate board gender quotas on firm performance in France, Italy, and Spain. The identification strategy exploits the exogenous variation in mandated gender quotas within country and over time and uses a counterfactual methodology. Using firm-level accounting data and a difference-in-difference estimator, the authors find that gender quotas had either a negative or an insignificant effect on firm performance in the countries considered with the exception of Italy, where they find a positive impact on productivity. The authors then focus on Italy. Using a novel data set containing detailed information on board members’ characteristics, they offer possible explanations for the positive effect of gender quotas. The results provide an important contribution to the policy debate about the optimal design of legislation on corporate gender quotas.

Book Reviews

Strong Governments, Precarious Workers: Labor Market Policy in the Era of Liberalization.
By Philip Rathgeb. Reviewed by Jens Arnholtz.

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor.
By Steven Greenhouse. Reviewed by Ruth Milkman.

Living and Dying on the Factory Floor: From the Outside In and the Inside Out.
By David Ranney. Reviewed by Robert Bruno.

Book Review Symposium

Technological Encounters: How New Writing on Technology Can Inform Modern Labor Studies
Steve Viscelli and Beth Gutelius.

Books Reviewed:

·   Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. By Meredith Broussard.

·   Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. By Virginia Eubanks.

·   Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. By Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri.

·   Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work. By Sarah Kessler.

·   Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy. By Alexandrea J. Ravenelle.

·   Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. By Cathy O’Neil.

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