Lab Events

Pay transparency and the gender gap

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We examine the impact of public sector salary disclosure laws on university faculty salaries in Canada. The laws, which enable public access to the salaries of individual faculty if they exceed specified thresholds, were introduced in different provinces at different times. Using detailed administrative data covering the majority of faculty in Canada, and an event-study research design that exploits within-province variation in exposure to the policy across institutions and academic departments, we find robust evidence that the laws reduced the gender pay gap between men and women by approximately 20-40 percent.


Derek Messacar is a Research Analyst in the Social Analysis and Modelling Division (SAMD) of Statistics Canada, and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto. Prior to this, he received his Master of Arts in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Messacar’s research focuses on the behavioral economics of consumption and investments: how individuals make irrational decisions because of shortsightedness and how government regulations may help.


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