Empirical Economics

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 479–499 | Cite as

Does supervisor gender affect wages?

  • Paul SicilianEmail author
  • Adam J. Grossberg


This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 (NLSY79) and the Current Population Survey to estimate the wage effects of having a female supervisor. Existing studies, using OLS to estimate the supervisor gender effect, find wage penalties for both men and women associated with working for a female supervisor. We extend this research in two important ways. First, we control for gender segregation at job level as opposed to the broader occupation level. This is important because of the concern that supervisor gender is simply a proxy for the gender-type of the job. Second, we apply fixed effects estimation to control for selection effects of supervisor gender. When using OLS we find estimates of the supervisor gender effect similar to those in the existing literature. However, when using fixed effects we find no evidence of a supervisor gender effect for women and only a small, marginally significant effect for men. We conclude that existing OLS estimates overstate the importance of the impact of supervisor gender on wages.


Wage determination NLSY Gender Human capital 

JEL Classification

J24 J30 J31 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGrand Valley State UniversityGrand RapidsUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsTrinity CollegeHartfordUSA

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