Is pay transparency good? | The Economist

On November 1st, New York City’s workers woke up to a new reality: every job listing for work that could be done in one of the five boroughs now had a stated salary band. Gossips rejoiced. But who does the law really benefit?

On this week’s podcast, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Mike Bird and Alice Fulwood look at the pros and cons of pay transparency. First, they hear from Harvard Business School’s Zoe Cullen who says wages fell by 2% on average when firms opened up about pay. Then, they speak to Joel Gascoigne, the founder of online marketing firm Buffer, who went further than companies in New York and published each of his employees’ salaries, by name, on the company’s website (it lists his salary as $298,958). And then they go to Norway, where incomes have always been publicly available – and hear about the unexpected consequences on happiness when you can easily see what your friends, neighbours and enemies earn.

Run time: 35 min

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