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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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What happens if women do ask? Gender and negotiation in an online labor market

Keywords: negotiation; gender; compensation; online conflict; field study

Abstract: Leading research on gender and negotiation states that women get less of what they want because “women don't ask.” But what would happen if women did ask? We leverage a novel, unique field data set from an online labor marketplace in which all workers are required to propose a first offer when negotiating their hourly wages for freelance jobs. Controlling for many covariates including workers' first offers, we show that even when women do ask, they receive $2.55 (about 9.3%) lower hourly wages than men. Surprisingly, however, asking for more helps women 9.7% more than it helps men. Furthermore: (1) in female-typed occupations, these effects vanish; (2) men receive higher hourly wages if they demonstrate high abilities (high test scores), but women don't; (3) women are 38% more likely than men to reveal a “learning orientation” in their profile text, but they receive $4.44 lower hourly wages if they do.

Christy Koval, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

David Daniels, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


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