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How feminine is corporate America? A recent overview

An Erratum to this article was published on 29 March 2008


The paper provides an up-to-date description of the distribution of female top executives in US corporations across industries and over time. In addition, it characterizes differences in executive compensation practices between men and women. The sample comprises 108,628 observations on 26,047 executives and 2,598 firms from 1992 to 2003. Women are working for smaller, less profitable, faster growing and less risky firms. Furthermore, female executives earn 14% less than their male colleagues. Finally, the gender pay gap is higher towards the upper end of the pay distribution.

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Correspondence to Gabrielle Wanzenried.

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An erratum to this article can be found at

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Wanzenried, G. How feminine is corporate America? A recent overview. J Econ Inequal 6, 185–209 (2008).

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Key words

  • female executives
  • executive compensation
  • gender pay gap
  • quantile regressions.

JEL Classification

  • M52
  • J31
  • J82