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Salary History and Employer Demand: Evidence from a Two-Sided Audit

Amanda Agan, Bo Cowgill and Laura Gee ()

No 29460, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We study how salary disclosures affect employer demand using a field experiment featuring hundreds of recruiters and over 2,000 job applications. We randomize the presence of salary questions and the candidates’ disclosures. Employers make negative inferences about non-disclosing candidates, and view salary history as a stronger signal about competing options than worker quality. Disclosures by men (and other highly-paid candidates) yield higher salary offers, but are negative signals of value (net of salary), yielding fewer callbacks. Male wage premiums are regarded as a weaker signal of quality than other wage premiums (such as working at higher paying firms).

JEL-codes: C90 J70 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc, nep-exp and nep-lma
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