University of Chicago Study Examines Women’s Willingness to Enter Salary Negotiations

A new study by researchers at the University of Chicago finds that women are just as likely as men to be willing to negotiate for higher salaries when presented with the opportunity. But the study found that when there is no explicit salary reference in a particular job description, women are less likely than men to attempt to negotiate for a higher salary.

Researchers placed job advertisements that stated salaries were negotiable or fixed. Women were three times as likely to apply for jobs when the salary was listed as negotiable. When the salary was listed as negotiable, 24 percent of women and 22 percent of men entered into salary negotiations. When the salary was explicit at a fixed rate, 11 percent of men and 8 percent of women tried to enter into salary negotiations.

John List, the Homer J. Livingston Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago and co-author of the study, noted, “By merely adding the information that the wage is negotiable, we successfully reduced the gender gap in applications by 45 percent.”

The study, “Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations? Evidence From a Large Scale Natural Field Experiment,” was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper can be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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