Jessica Pan

Séminaires généraux
amse seminar

Jessica Pan

National University of Singapore
Gender differences in job search and the earnings gap: Evidence from business majors
Co-écrit avec
Patricia Cortes, Laura Pilossoph, Basit Zafar
Jeudi 14 mai 2020| 11:00 - 12:15

Sarah Flèche : sarah.fleche[at]
Agnès Tomini : agnes.tomini[at]


To understand gender differences in the job search process, we collect rich information on job offers and acceptances from past and current undergraduates of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. We document two novel empirical facts: (1) there is a clear gender difference in the timing of job offer acceptance, with women accepting jobs substantially earlier than men, and (2) the gender earnings gap in accepted offers narrows in favor of women over the course of the job search period. Using rich survey data on risk preferences and beliefs about anticipated earnings, we present empirical evidence that the patterns in job search are largely driven by higher levels of risk aversion of women and higher levels of overconfidence of men. We next develop and estimate a formal job search model that incorporates these gender differences in risk aversion and degree of (over)confidence about the offer distribution. The estimated model is broadly able to match the survey findings. Our counterfactual exercises show that gender differences in risk preferences and overconfidence have similar quantitative importance in explaining the observed gender gap in accepted earnings. While overconfidence, on average, leads to higher earnings for males, the welfare implications are heterogeneous.

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