Gender in Job Negotiations: A Two-Level Game

32 Pages Posted: 13 May 2008

See all articles by Hannah Riley Bowles

Hannah Riley Bowles

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Kathleen McGinn

Harvard Business School - Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit

Date Written: May 13, 2008

Abstract

We propose a two-level-game (Putnam, 1988) perspective on gender in job negotiations. At Level 1, candidates negotiate with the employers. At Level 2, candidates negotiate with domestic partners. In order to illuminate the interplay between these two levels, we review literature from two separate bodies of literature. Research in psychology and organizational behavior on candidate-employer negotiations sheds light on the effects of gender on Level 1 negotiations. Research from economics and sociology on intra-household bargaining elucidates how negotiations over the allocation of domestic labor at Level 2 influence labor force participation at Level 1. In conclusion, we integrate practical implications from these two bodies of literature to propose a set of prescriptive suggestions for candidates to approach job negotiations as a two-level game and to minimize disadvantageous effects of gender on job negotiation outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Bowles, Hannah Riley and McGinn, Kathleen L., Gender in Job Negotiations: A Two-Level Game (May 13, 2008). Harvard Business School NOM Working Paper No. 08-095; HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-027. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1132784 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1132784

Hannah Riley Bowles (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4717 (Phone)
617-496-2850 (Fax)

Kathleen L. McGinn

Harvard Business School - Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6901 (Phone)
617-496-7379 (Fax)

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