In March 2008, the Sacramento Bee began publishing the salaries of all California state workers, including public universities. UC Berkeley professors took this information and used it to learn about pay secrecy, relative income, and how people feel and react to knowing what their co-workers earn. It turns out that there is a dramatic difference in the response to new information about wages of co-workers, depending on whether an individual has wage and salary pay above or below the median for his or her workgroup. For those who earn below the middle of their group, the new information about the compensation of their co-workers has no effect on job or pay satisfaction or on their job search intentions. Something that could perhaps be answered with future research is to discover if those compensated below the median actually lower-performing individuals that the organization would not regret losing.
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Hallock, Kevin F. 2011. "Pay Secrecy and Relative Pay." Workspan 54 (4) (04): 10-11.