African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4137

Full Length Research Paper

Is a woman’s name worthless? An experiment related to the gender wage gap

Thorlakur Karlsson
  • Thorlakur Karlsson
  • Department of Psychology, School of Business, Reykjavík University, Reykjavík, Iceland.
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Margret Jonsdottir Njardvik
  • Margret Jonsdottir Njardvik
  • Mundo, Hringbraut 98, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.
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Holmfridur Vilhjalmsdottir
  • Holmfridur Vilhjalmsdottir
  • Laufasborg, Laufasvegi 53-55, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.
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  •  Received: 26 May 2020
  •  Accepted: 07 August 2020
  •  Published: 30 September 2020

Abstract

On average, women earn less than men. This is evident in countries with the largest economies of the world. The purpose of this research is to discover whether a woman’s name rather than that of a man contributes to this difference. In an experiment involving 281 employees from several companies, participants were asked to pretend that they were human resource managers. They were required to offer a salary to a female or male applicant for a sales representative or manager’s job, and to also suggest a salary for a niece or nephew for similar jobs. Participants received identical curriculum vitae (CV) for each job, but half who were randomly selected received a female name on the CV and the other half a male name. On five measures for both jobs, all female applicants and nieces “received” lower salaries than male applicants and nephews, irrespective of their gender, age, or position.
 
Key words: Gender, wage gap, salaries, experiment, differences.