Salary History and Employer Demand: Evidence from a Two-Sided Audit

75 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 7 Mar 2024

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: September 23, 2021

Abstract

We study how salary disclosures affect employer demand using a field experiment featuring hundreds of recruiters evaluating over 2,000 job applications. We randomize the presence of salary questions and the candidates’ disclosures for male and female applicants. Our findings suggest that extra dollars disclosed yield higher salary offers, willingness to pay, and perceptions of outside options by recruiters (all similarly for men and women). Recruiters make negative inferences about the quality and bargaining positions of non-disclosing candidates, though they penalize silent women less.

Keywords: J71, M51, C93

JEL Classification: Blinding, disclosure, recruiting, statistical discrimination, salary history, field experiments.

Suggested Citation

Agan, Amanda Y. and Cowgill, Bo and Gee, Laura, Salary History and Employer Demand: Evidence from a Two-Sided Audit (September 23, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3929578 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3929578

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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