My research lies at the intersection of organizations, work, labor markets, and social inequality. I examine how labor market shifts and organizational practices affect employment outcomes such as pay and career formation, with particularly focus on race, class, and gender disparities. I address these mechanisms using a variety of data and methods, including quantitative analyses of large household panel data, longitudinal personnel data from a large U.S. employer, and qualitative analyses of semi-structured interviews with corporate managers and life scientists.
Most recently, I also worked on several collaborative projects that examine public policies around homeschooling and immigration. Most of these papers address the role of race in one way or another. I see this stream of research as an extension of my growing interest in policies (national or organizational). Below, you can find a list of all publications along with a more detailed description of my research.
- Kronberg, A. (in press) Workplace gender pay gaps: Does gender matter less the longer employees stay? Work and Occupations
- Renzulli, L., Werum, R. and A. Kronberg (in press) "Race Relations, Black Elites and Immigration Politics: Conflict, Commonalities and Context" Sociological Forum
- Browne, I., Reingold, B., and A. Kronberg (2018) Race Relations, Black Elites and Immigration Politics: Conflict, Commonalities and Context Social Forces 94(4), 1691-1720
- Boutcher, S., Kronberg, A. and R. Werum (2018) Getting on the "Radar Screen": Homeschooling Litigation As Agenda-Setting, 1972-2007 Mobilization , 28(2), 159-180
- Kronberg, A. (2014). Stay or Leave? Race, Education and Changing Returns to the External Labor Market Strategy, 1976-2009 Work and Occupations , 41(3), 305-349
- Kronberg, A.(2013). Stay or Leave? Externalization of Job Mobility and the Effects on the U.S. Gender Earnings Gap, 1979-2009 Social Forces, 91(4), 1117-1146.
- Awarded with the Odum Outstanding Student Paper Award 2013, Southern Sociological Society
Moving between jobs: How organizations shape careers?
In two ongoing projects, I examine how employees are allocated to different positions.
A first project, titled "ScienceBurn" with Dr. Heather Hofmeister and Dr. Matthias Revers, focuses on young life scientists and their career decisions following the completion of their postdoctoral training. Of special interest is how these scientists navigate institutional processes (e.g. short-term employment in science), employer practices (e.g. stigma of non-academic careers and "ideal worker" norm), while also experiencing important life events. Between 2016 and 2019, We have collected over 55 semi-structured interviews with life scientists and are currently preparing several manuscripts for submission.
A second, DFG-funded, project with Dr. Markus Gangl and Anna Gerlach addresses how the formalization of employment practices affects pay and firm-internal opportunities. Likewise, we will examine how broader organizational context such as declining occupational mix and preexisting pay disparities affect job opportunities and turnover among men and women. Overall, the project sheds light on how organizational policies and organizational characteristics shape men and women's careers within and between firms. For that purpose, we use German linked employer-employee data (LIAB), which links a longitudinal panel of 15,0000 German establishments with employees' administrative data in these establishments between 2004 and 2012.
Getting paid: How does mobility across firms and company policies affect gender and race pay gaps?
Gender and Race Pay Gaps When Switching Employers
Since the 1970s employees (have to) change their employer more frequently throughout their career. Using growth curve models to analyze data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1976-2009), this project examined whether increasing inter-organizational mobility contributed to the stalling closure of race and gender pay disparities in the U.S. Results demonstrate that changing career patterns have had a complex effect on race and gender disparities due to an intersection between race, class and gender. The first paper, published in Social Forces demonstrated that mobility between employers narrowed the gender pay gap among employees who changed voluntarily between good jobs, i.e. jobs that provide employer-sponsored health and pension insurance, as well as above-poverty pay. In contrast, gender differences widened among employees who left their previous employer involuntarily or who worked in bad jobs.
Gender affected mobility outcomes very differently than race. Hence a second paper, published in Work and Occupations examined the effect of mobility on Black-White pay differences. Earnings disparities among leavers increased among male college-graduates since the 1970s, whereas race differences decreased among male high school graduates. Mobility had no effect on race differences among women.
Workplace Gender Pay Gaps After Being Hired
While income tends to change quite dramatically when switching employers, pay does not remain stagnant once employees are hired. Some evidence already suggests that men receive greater annual merit increases for the same performance than women. However, we don't really know if this primarily affects new employees or whether this is an ongoing problem. To address this question, I use longitudinal personnel records of a large US employer and trace employees' pay growth for up to 9 years after they were hired. Unlike most firms, B2G successfully regulates pay at hire, meaning that equally qualified men and women in the same job start at pay equity. I examine how gender pay differences develop post-hire in such an environment and find that gender gaps grow gradually after hire. In support of status-characteristics theory, the effect of gender does not lessen with increasing tenure. Moreover, gender differences only emerge in subunits where supervisors have discretion over merit increases, whereas units with low supervisory discretion are characterized by sustained equity. This research was published in Work and Occupations.
Race and Public Policy
Complementary with my broader interest in social inequality and policies, two collaborative projects examine how race and race relations shape public policy. A paper published in Social Forces with Irene Browne and Beth Reingold investigates how Black and White state legislators vote on restrictive immigration laws. We use voting data on 180 proposed state-level immigration bills and control for legislator's demographic and economic district characteristics. Consistent with theories of symbolic politics, Black legislators vote more restrictively on bills that address areas where groups compete (esp. access to jobs) and vote less restrictively on bills that affect both groups negatively (esp. civil rights issues).
A second project with Regina Werum, Linda Renzulli, and Steven Boutcher examines how social movements shaped the regulation of homeschooling since the 1970s. Of particular interest is how and when the movement used courts vs. legislative lobbying to shape public policy. We constructed unique, longitudinal, state-level data that combine precedent-setting homeschooling court cases with state-level political, economic, demographic, and educational indicators between 1972 and 2007. We find that in addition to social movement factors, race- and class-based status-competition strongly contributed to changing homeschooling laws. We published these papers in Mobilization and Sociological Forum.