Anticipated Discrimination and Wage Negotiation: A Field Experiment

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Abstract: This paper proposes a field experiment to study whether a perception of gender discrimination affects requested wages. People interested in an advertised position can apply using an online portal. After the initial application, participants are randomly allocated to one of two treatments. In the baseline treatment, applicants are asked to fill in a standardized curriculum vitae template, containing information about the applicant’s first name, surname, education, and employment. In the main treatment, applicants are asked to fill in a curriculum vitae template in which applicants can only report their initials, so that information about gender is not transmitted.  In both treatments, applicants are asked to request the hourly wage they wish to receive if hired. We find that female applicants ask for a lower salary than male applicants in the baseline treatment – when the full name is revealed. In the main treatment, when gender is invisible, the wage requested by female applicants increases by 86%, whereas male applicants’ wage requests are 18% lower. As a result, the gap in requested wages completely disappears (and even slightly reverses) when the applicants knows that the firm cannot know their gender.

Asistencia presencial: Aula A2.11 Campus Sevilla

Keywords: discrimination, Gender stereotypes, hiring patterns