Do Race, Gender, and Age Differences Affect Manager-Employee Relations? An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm

Laura M. Giuliano, University of Miami
David I. Levine, University of California, Berkeley
Jonathan Leonard, University of California, Berkeley

Using data from a large retail employer, we examine how demographic differences between manager and subordinate affect the subordinate’s rate of quits, dismissals, and promotions. Demographic differences can produce statistically significant effects, especially differences in race and ethnicity. RACE: Blacks and Hispanics with racially or ethnically dissimilar managers are much more likely to be fired, and less likely to be promoted. By contrast, white employees with non-white managers are less likely to be dismissed than whites with white managers, and more likely to be promoted. Racial differences also cause a moderate increase in Hispanic and white quits, but not in black quits. AGE: Employees who are significantly younger than their managers are more likely to be dismissed, but employees who are significantly older than their managers are less likely to be dismissed. GENDER: Having a different-sex manager affects only quit rates, which are slightly higher.

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Presented in Session 68: Race and Ethnic Inequality