IACM 2019 Abstract Book »
What happens if women do ask? Gender and negotiation in an online labor market
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.