Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations? Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Field Experiment
AbstractOne explanation advanced for the persistent gender pay differences in labor markets is that women avoid salary negotiations. By using a natural field experiment that randomizes nearly 2,500 job-seekers into jobs that vary important details of the labor contract, we are able to observe both the nature of sorting and the extent of salary negotiations. We observe interesting data patterns. For example, we find that when there is no explicit statement that wages are negotiable, men are more likely to negotiate than women. However, when we explicitly mention the possibility that wages are negotiable, this difference disappears, and even tends to reverse. In terms of sorting, we find that men in contrast to women prefer job environments where the ‘rules of wage determination’ are ambiguous. This leads to the gender gap being much more pronounced in jobs that leave negotiation of wage ambiguous.
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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- Andreas Leibbrandt & John List, 2012. "Do women avoid salary negotiations? Evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00201, The Field Experiments Website.
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2012-11-11 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-11-11 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2012-11-11 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2012-11-11 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2012-11-11 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-LTV-2012-11-11 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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