Preference for the Workplace, Investment in Human Capital, and Gender

78 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016 Last revised: 30 Aug 2017

See all articles by Matthew Wiswall

Matthew Wiswall

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Basit Zafar

Arizona State University

Date Written: 2016-03-01

Abstract

We use a hypothetical choice methodology to estimate preferences for workplace attributes and quantify how much these preferences influence pre-labor-market human capital investments. This method robustly identifies preferences for various job attributes, free from omitted variable bias and free from considering the equilibrium job match. Women on average have a higher willingness to pay (WTP) for jobs with greater work flexibility and job stability, and men have a higher WTP for jobs with higher earnings growth. These job preferences relate to college major choices and actual job choices, and explain as much as 25 percent of the gender wage gap..

Keywords: workplace preferences, compensating differentials, human capital, college majors, gender

JEL Classification: J16, J24

Suggested Citation

Wiswall, Matthew and Zafar, Basit, Preference for the Workplace, Investment in Human Capital, and Gender (2016-03-01). FRB of NY Staff Report No. 767. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2742578

Matthew Wiswall (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Basit Zafar

Arizona State University ( email )

WP Carey School of Business, ASU
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States
9179326564 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/basitakzafar/

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