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August 26, 2003
Studies: Pay Differences Have Ripple Effect
Researchers in two separate studies have found that your pay could be affected by those with whom you work.

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In one study, researchers found that managers, regardless of gender, who worked with more women than men earned less than those managers who worked with more men than women, MSNBC reports.

Researchers from the Columbia University and Arizona State University surveyed 2,100 managers and their co-workers, finding that the level of the managers' pay correlated with the proportion of female employees in their workplace.

A manager who oversaw a department with an equal number of men and women tended to get over $2,000 less in annual pay. If 80 percent of the employees in the manager's immediate workplace were women, the manager's pay was about $7,000 less per year, MSNBC reports.

The researchers could not identity a definitive cause of the pay gap, however. Cheri Ostroff, who co-authored the study, says discrimination could play a part. In addition, Ostroff says female workers could be attracted to or channeled to jobs with less prestige and fewer opportunities for advancement, which could account for a portion of the gap.

In a separate study, a researcher from the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center found that men working in service and manual-labor jobs were more likely to earn less if they worked with newly arrived Latino workers. The researchers say that a larger proportion of newly arrived Latino workers meant less pay for American-born and established-immigrant laborers, the Associated Press reports.

Native and established immigrants who worked with new immigrant workers earned an average of 11 percent less than other workers with similar jobs, according to the study, which was based on data from the Census of 1990.

"These findings push us to understand that wage penalties in 'brown-collar' occupations stem from newcomer Latinos' marginal status, and not from immigration, per se," says Lisa Catanzarite, who conducted the study. "The findings don't suggest that immigration overall is hurting native-born workers. Some of these jobs wouldn't even exist if those immigrants weren't here."

Catanzarite tells the news agency that some employers exploit newly arrived immigrants, which drives down the wages of other workers.

The study recommends an expansion of protections for immigrant workers, the AP reports.


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