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Labor Market Signaling and Self-Confidence: Wage Compression and the Gender Pay Gap N.B.: This paper replaces Nr 10.07 "Labor Market Signaling with Overconfident Workers" (June 2010)

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  • Luis Santos-Pinto

Abstract

I extend Spence's (1973) signaling model by assuming some workers are overconfident - they underestimate their marginal cost of acquiring education - and some are underconfident. Firms cannot observe workers' productive abilities and beliefs but know the fractions of high-ability, overconfident, and underconfident workers. I find that biased beliefs lower the wage spread and compress the wages of unbiased workers. I show that gender differences in self-confidence can contribute to the gender pay gap. If education raises productivity, men are overconfident, and women underconfident, then women will, on average, earn less than men. Finally, I show that biased beliefs can improve welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Santos-Pinto, 2011. "Labor Market Signaling and Self-Confidence: Wage Compression and the Gender Pay Gap N.B.: This paper replaces Nr 10.07 "Labor Market Signaling with Overconfident Workers" (June 2010)," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 11.07, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:11.07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    signaling; education; self-confidence; wage compression; gender pay gap;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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