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Gender differences in wage expectations

Ana Fernandes, Martin Huber () and Giannina Vaccaro

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 6, 1-24

Abstract: Using an own survey on wage expectations among students at two Swiss institutions of higher education, we examine the wage expectations of our respondents along two main lines. First, we investigate the rationality of wage expectations by comparing average expected wages from our sample with those of similar graduates; further, we examine how our respondents revise their expectations when provided information about actual wages. Second, using causal mediation analysis, we test whether the consideration of a rich set of personal and professional controls, inclusive of preferences on family formation and number of children in addition to professional preferences, accounts for the difference in wage expectations across genders. Results suggest that both males and females overestimate their wages compared to actual ones and that males respond in an overconfident manner to information about realized wages. Personal mediators alone cannot explain the indirect effect of gender on wage expectations; however, when combined with professional mediators, this results in a quantitatively large reduction in the unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations. Nonetheless, a non-negligible and statistically significant direct (or unexplained) effect of gender on wage expectations remains in several, but not all specifications.

Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Gender Differences in Wage Expectations (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Gender Differences in Wage Expectations (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:plo:pone00:0250892

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250892

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