Clearly, most organizations seek to have fair and objective pay practices. And, as a check, they sometimes take a data-driven look inside their companies to consider whether employees of different demographic characteristics are paid similarly or if there is some pay gap. But most organizations only consider wages or salaries in looking for such gaps. Existing research on pay preferences, however, shows that employees can value differently different kinds of pay. There are many massive demographic surveys of individuals which record, along with wage and salary earnings, information on individuals' schooling, gender, race, work hours, occupation, geographic location, etc. These surveys are not very helpful, however, when it comes to obtaining data on total rewards. One way to get around this data constraint is to use detailed occupational codes to merge data from a large national demographic survey on individual people with detailed data on compensation by occupation found in official surveys of business establishments.

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