Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment
26 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2015 Last revised: 10 Aug 2016
Date Written: September 17, 2015
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: Suggested Citation