Do Workers Comply with Salary History Bans? A Survey on Voluntary Disclosure, Adverse Selection, and Unraveling

AEA Papers & Proceedings, 110, Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2020 Last revised: 27 Feb 2020

See all articles by Amanda Y. Agan

Amanda Y. Agan

Rutgers University, Department of Economics

Bo Cowgill

Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Laura Gee

Tufts University; IZA

Date Written: January 19, 2020

Abstract

Salary history bans forbid employers from asking job candidates to disclose their salaries. However, applicants can still volunteer this information. Our theoretical model predicts the effect of these laws varies by how workers comply. Our survey of Americans in the labor force finds candidates fall into three compliance types: 25% always disclose their salary whether asked or not, 17% never disclose, and 58% comply with the ban (disclosing only when asked). Importantly, compliance type varies by demographics (e.g. always-disclosers are more male, compliers are more female), and workers are more likely to disclose as others do the same, which suggests unraveling.

Suggested Citation

Agan, Amanda Y. and Cowgill, Bo and Gee, Laura, Do Workers Comply with Salary History Bans? A Survey on Voluntary Disclosure, Adverse Selection, and Unraveling (January 19, 2020). AEA Papers & Proceedings, 110, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3522170

Amanda Y. Agan

Rutgers University, Department of Economics ( email )

New Jersey Hall
75 Hamilton St
08901, NJ Princeton 08540
United States

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

Bo Cowgill (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Laura Gee

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

IZA

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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