Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment

26 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2015 Last revised: 10 Aug 2016

Anya Savikhin Samek

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR); University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 17, 2015

Abstract

The gender difference in competitiveness has been cited as an important factor driving the gender gap in labor market outcomes. Using a natural field experiment with 35,000 university students, I explore the impact of compensation scheme on willingness to apply for a job. I find that competitive compensation schemes disproportionately deter women from applying, which cannot be explained by differences in risk preferences alone. I also vary whether the job is introduced as helping a non-profit, which increases application rates, suggesting a role for social preferences in application decisions. Finally, I observe a correlation between competitiveness preferences and career choice.

Keywords: field experiment, gender, competitiveness, labor market

JEL Classification: C93, J23, J33

Suggested Citation

Samek, Anya Savikhin, Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment (September 17, 2015). Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics Working Paper No. 2579257; CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper 2579257. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2579257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2579257

Anya Savikhin Samek (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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