Salary negotiation can affect gender pay gap

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The salary gap between men and women at the workplace is a continual trend. A new research study has found a possible reason: salary negotiation might affect how both genders determine their pay.

The paper, co-authored by Andreas Liebbrandt of Monash University in Australia and John List of the University of Chicago, revealed that when the issue of salary remained ambiguous, male applicants were far more likely to negotiate than women. However, when it was explicit that the salary for the position could be negotiated, women make a 360-degree turn, negotiating even more violently than their male counterparts.

Based on a sample of 2,500 job-seekers responding to 18 different online want-ads for administrative assistant positions in nine US cities, Liebbrandt and List found that males were the bigger risk takers in wage determination: they preferred jobs where there was ambiguity on wage determination. The fairer sex, however, tended to shy away from such openings.

In sum, more research is necessary to improve understanding on the role of negotiations in workplaces and how they relate to gender differences in labour market outcomes, the report mentioned.

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