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Do Workers Value Flexible Jobs? A Field Experiment

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  • Haoran He
  • David Neumark
  • Qian Weng

Abstract

We explore workers’ valuation of job flexibility, using a field experiment conducted on a Chinese job board. Our experimental job ads differ randomly in offering jobs that are flexible regarding when one works (time flexibility) or where one works (place flexibility), and offering different salaries. Application rates are higher for flexible jobs, conditional on the salary offered, providing evidence that workers value job flexibility. Moreover, under some plausible conditions our evidence is informative about job seekers’ willingness to pay for flexible jobs of the types offered in the experiment, and points to fairly high valuation of the most flexible jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Haoran He & David Neumark & Qian Weng, 2019. "Do Workers Value Flexible Jobs? A Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 25423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25423
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    Cited by:

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    2. Moens, Eline & Verhofstadt, Elsy & Van Ootegem, Luc & Baert, Stijn, 2022. "Disentangling the Attractiveness of Telework to Employees: A Factorial Survey Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 15190, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Alexandre Mas & Amanda Pallais, 2020. "Alternative Work Arrangements," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 631-658, August.
    4. Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff & Vernon, Victoria, 2020. "Telework and Time Use in the United States," GLO Discussion Paper Series 546, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Brachert, Matthias, 2022. "Where to go? High-skilled individuals' regional preferences," IWH Discussion Papers 27/2022, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    6. Cevat Giray Aksoy & Jose Maria Barrero & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Mathias Dolls & Pablo Zarate, 2022. "Working from Home Around the World," EconPol Forum, CESifo, vol. 23(06), pages 38-41, October.
    7. Carlos C. Duarte & Nuno D. Cortiços, 2022. "The Energy Efficiency Post-COVID-19 in China’s Office Buildings," Clean Technol., MDPI, vol. 4(1), pages 1-60, March.
    8. Kuan-Ming Chen & Ning Ding & John A. List & Magne Mogstad, 2020. "Reservation Wages and Workers’ Valuation of Job Flexibility: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 2020-124, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    9. Piotr Lewandowski & Katarzyna Lipowska & Mateusz Smoter, 2022. "Mismatch in preferences for working from home - evidence from discrete choice experiments," IBS Working Papers 05/2022, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    10. Kuan-Ming Chen & Min Ding & John List & Magne Mogstad, 2020. "Reservation Wages and Workers' Valuation of Job Flexibility: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00715, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Benny, Liza & Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernández, Manuel, 2021. "Occupation flexibility and the graduate gender wage gap in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2021-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    12. Weisel, Ori & Zultan, Ro’i, 2021. "Perceptions of conflict: Parochial cooperation and outgroup spite revisited," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 57-71.
    13. Arntz, Melanie & Ben Yahmed, Sarra & Berlingieri, Francesco, 2022. "Working from home, hours worked and wages: Heterogeneity by gender and parenthood," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    14. Clemens, Jeffrey, 2019. "Making Sense of the Minimum Wage: A Roadmap for Navigating Recent Research," MPRA Paper 94324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Viete, Steffen & Erdsiek, Daniel, 2020. "Mobile Information Technologies and Firm Performance: The Role of Employee Autonomy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    16. Arntz, Melanie & Ben Yahmed, Sarra & Berlingieri, Francesco, 2018. "Working from Home: Heterogenous Effects on Hours Worked and Wages," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181630, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Jason Sockin, 2022. "Show Me the Amenity: Are Higher-Paying Firms Better All Around?," CESifo Working Paper Series 9842, CESifo.
    18. Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia & Victoria Vernon, 2022. "Telework, Wages, and Time Use in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 687-734, September.
    19. Hirte, Georg & Laes, Renée, 2022. "Working from self-driving cars," CEPIE Working Papers 01/22, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).

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    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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