Glass Ceilings or Sticky Floors? Statistical Discrimination in a Dynamic Model of Hiring and Promotion*

Authors


  • *

     Thanks to Tom Crossley, Tilman Klupp and seminar participants at Cambridge University and Emory University. Much of this work was completed while I was on faculty at McMaster University and an NICHD Research Fellow in Population Studies at the RAND Corporation.

Abstract

I show that when two groups differ in (i) their average skill level, (ii) the precision with which they can signal their skill prior to entering the labour market, and/or (iii) the frequency with which they have the opportunity to signal their skill prior to entering the labour market, then even if firms become increasingly informed regarding each worker's skill over time, equally skilled workers from different groups will have different likelihoods of making it to top jobs in the economy, even though there is no discrimination when it comes to promotion to these top jobs.

Ancillary