Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research

No 7/2007: Are Women Asking for Low Wages? Gender Differences in Wage Bargaining Strategies and Ensuing Bargaining Success

Jenny Säve-Söderbergh ()
Additional contact information
Jenny Säve-Söderbergh: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, Postal: SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Men and women’s labor market outcomes differ along pay, promotion and competitiveness. This paper contributes by uncovering results in a related unexplored field using unique data on individual wage bargaining. We find striking gender differences. Women, like men, also bargain, but they submit lower wage bids and are offered lower wages than men. The adjusted gender wage gap is lower with posted-wage jobs than with individual bargaining, although less is ascribable to the term associated with discrimination. Both women and men use self-promoting, or competitive bargaining strategies, but women self-promote at lower levels. Employers reward self-promotion but the larger the self-promotion, the larger is the gender gap in bargaining success. Women therefore lack the incentives to self-promote, which helps to explain the gender disparities.

Keywords: Individual Wage Bargaining; Competitiveness; Bargaining strategies; Self-promoting Bargaining Strategies; Gender Wage Gap; and Discrimination.

JEL-codes: J16; J31; M51; M52

37 pages, May 18, 2007

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