Complutense University Library

Gender discrimination in promotion : the case of Spanish labor market


Albert López-Ibor, Rocío and Escot Mangas, Lorenzo and Fernández Cornejo, José Andrés and Saiz Briones, Javier (2004) Gender discrimination in promotion : the case of Spanish labor market. [ Documentos de Trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales; nº 05, 2004, ISSN: 2255-5471 ]

Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.


Official URL:


This paper tests the hypothesis that a glass ceiling phenomenon exists in the Spanish labor market -that as women rise in the professional hierarchy, they face increasing obstacles for promotion. Taking data from the Spanish Survey on Quality of Life at Work (ECVT) for 2001, a number of indicators were selected for promotion: “number of promotions”, “supervision levels”, “number of people supervised” and “net wage”.
The relative gaps were calculated for each of the intervals (categories) for these variables, in order of size, starting with the smallest. These measure the percentage by which women’s participation would have to increase in order to reach the level that would exist if there were no discrimination (the latter being calculated, in line with the Oaxaca decomposition, by evaluating women’s endowments in the model estimated for men, for whom it is assumed there is no gender discrimination). In order to calculate these relative gaps, for each of the indicators one model was estimated for women and one for men. The ordered probit model was used to calculate the probabilities (or theoretic frequencies) for the presence of women/men at each of the intervals considered. The results indicated that, in all cases, the relative gap tends to increase as the intervals rise. This might indicate the presence of a glass ceiling problem.
The paper has four sections. The first covers the existing literature on the glass ceiling phenomenon. The second examines the main characteristics of the data and shows some preliminary results. The third presents the ordered probit model used to estimate the women’s and men’s equations. The fourth shows the main results. The closing section gives some conclusions.

Item Type:Working Paper or Technical Report
Additional Information:

Clasificación JEL: J71, J24, K31.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Descriminación de género, Mercado laboral.
Palabras clave (otros idiomas):Gender discrimination, Labor market, Glass ceiling.
Subjects:Social sciences > Sociology > Urban sociology
Social sciences > Sociology > Feminism
Series Name:Documentos de Trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales
ID Code:6829

Albrecht, J.; Björklund, A. and Vroman, S. (2003): “Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?”, Journal of Labor Economics, 21: 145-177.

Becker, G. (1964): Human Capital, National Bureau of Economic Research, New York.

Blau, F and Ferber, M. (1992): The economics of women, men and work, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs (NJ).

Britton, D. and Williams, C. L. (2000): “Response to Baxter and Wright”, Gender and Society, 14(2): 275.94.

Davidson, L and Cooper C L, (1992): Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Woman Manager. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

De la Rica, S. and Felgueroso, F. (2001): “Intrafirm gender wage differences: a worker’s matching approach”, mimeo, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain.

Gibelman, M. (2000): The Nonprofit Sector and Gender Discrimination: A Preliminary Investigation into the Glass Ceiling Nonprofit Management and Leadership, , v. 10, iss. 3, pp. 251-69.

Greene, W. H. (2003): Econometric Analysis, fifth dition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River (NJ).

Groot, W. and Van den Brink, H. M. (1996): “Glass Ceiling or Dead Ends: Job Promotion of Men and Women Compared”, Economics Letters, 53: 221-226.

Henning, M and Jardim, A. (1977): The Managerial Women, Anchor, Garden City (NY).

Hultin, M. (2003): “Some Take the Glass Escalator, Some Hit the Glass Ceiling? Career Consequences of Occupational Sex Segregation”, Work and Occupation, 30: pp. 30-61.

Jones, D. R. And Makepeace, G. H. (1996): “Equal Worth, Equal Opportunities: Pay and Promotion in an International Labour Market”, The Economic Journal, 106 (March): 401-409.

Markham, W.T. (1988): “Sex, relocation, and occupational advancement”, in a A.H. Stromberg, L, larwood and B.A. Gutek (eds), Women and Work: An Annual Review, vol. 2, Sage, Newbury Park (CA).

McDowell, J.M.; Singell, L. D., Jr.; Ziliak, J. P.(1999): “Cracks in the Glass Ceiling: Gender and Promotion in the Economics Profesión” American Economic Review, May 1999, v. 89, iss. 2, pp. 392-96.

McFadden, D. L. (1974): “Conditional Logic Analysis of Qualitative Choice Analysis”, in Frontiers in Econometrics, ed. P. Zarembka, Academic Press, New York.

Morrison, A.; White, R.P. and Van Velsor, E.; and the Center for Creative Leadership (1987): Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Addison-Wesley, New York.

Olson, J. E., Good, D. C., & Frieze, I. H. (1987): The effects of job type and industry on the income of male and female MBA's. Journal of Human Resources, 22 , 532-541.

Paulson, K. (2002): “The existence of Gender-Specif. Promotion Standards in the U.S.”Managment and decission economics 23: 447-459.

Powell, G. N. and Butterfield, A. D. (1994): "Investigating the ‘Glass Ceiling’ Phenomenon:An Empirical Study of Actual Promotions to Top Management." Academy of Management Journal 37 : 68-86.

Segerman-Peck, L.M. (1991): Networking and mentoring: a woman´s guide. London: Piatkus.

Tang, Joyce; (1997): “The Glass Ceiling in Science and Engineering” Journal of SocioEconomics, v. 26, iss. 4, pp. 383-406.

Wallace, P. A. (1989): MBAs on the fast track: The career mobility of young managers. New York: Ballinger.

Wooldridge, J. M. (2002): Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data, The MIT Press, Cambridge (Mass.)Albrecht, J.; Björklund, A. and Vroman, S. (2003): “Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?”, Journal of Labor Economics, 21: 145-177.

Wright, E. O. and Baxter, J. (2000): “The Glass Ceiling Hypothesis. A Reply to Critics”, Gender and Society, 14(6): 814-821.

Deposited On:30 Nov 2007
Last Modified:13 Nov 2015 13:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page