Second Prize for Best Article Published in the REIS

The CIS awards the Second REIS Prize for an article on salary discrimination in organisations

Written by Emilio Castilla, the article "Mérito y discriminación dentro de las organizaciones: diferencias en la evaluación y retribución de empleados/as según género y origen étnico" was published in 2010 in issue 129 of the Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas (REIS)

A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Emilio J. Castilla explains in his article how the processes used to set workers' salaries today can generate wage inequality within organisations. Using workforce data from a large private sector organisation, the author identifies and examines the two main stages of a common practice within companies: variable pay for employees using performance bonuses.

This research highlights that employees' gender, ethnic origin and nationality all have a direct impact, both in the first phase of performance evaluation and the second stage of setting the salary.

The longitudinal analysis shows that structurally equivalent employees (that is, in the same post and work unit with the same supervisor and the same human capital) obtained different salary increases even after having received the same performance evaluation score, simply on the basis of their gender, ethnic origin or nationality.

The article concludes with a discussion of the relevance of these results for existing sociological literature on discrimination and wage inequality associated with gender and ethnic origin within contemporary organisations.

The aim of the €2,500 prize, which was first awarded in January 2010, is to recognise works of high originality, relevance and methodological quality that have been published in the journal each year, while also encouraging authors to support the dissemination of their research activity in the national and international scientific community and to increase the visibility of their work in the field of social sciences.

The panel of judges was composed of members of the REIS Editorial Board chaired by the President of the CIS, Ramón Ramos.