Workshop | Gender Pay Gap among Hospital Executives

Although equal pay has received increasing attention over decades, pay equity among leadership and management positions often receives less attention. This study hypothesizes that women who are promoted to senior positions continue to experience a gender pay gap after the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.  


We examine a sample of hospital executives using data from the 2017 Internal Revenue Service 990 forms merged with the 2017 wave of the American Hospital Association survey. Available variables include hospital chief executive officers’ (CEOs) compensation and hospital characteristics. CEOs’ gender was identified by matching their first name with a database from the Social Security Administration. We conducted both ordinary least squares (OLS) and unconditional quantile regression (UQR) analysis. We used an Oaxaca decomposition analysis to explain the gender pay gap.


On average, the compensation for women CEO was 29.1% less than men based on a median regression while the OLS regression indicated a gender pay gap of 32.6% (p<0.01). Our UQR result revealed a U-shaped relationship across the salary distribution.  We conclude that the gender pay gap between hospital CEOs persists and has widened. We need to continue to monitor and strive for pay equity in the healthcare industry.