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

Amanda Agan, Bo Cowgill and Laura Katherine Gee

AEA Papers and Proceedings, 2020, vol. 110, 215-19

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 that 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 percent always disclose their salary whether asked or not, 17 percent never disclose, and 58 percent comply with the ban. 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.

JEL-codes: D82 D83 J16 J31 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20201123

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