Preference for the Workplace, Investment in Human Capital, and Gender

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Event Type: 
Seminar Series
Date and Time: 
Monday, May 15, 2017
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Basit Zafar
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

We use a hypothetical choice methodology to estimate preferences for workplace attributes and quantify how much these preferences influence pre-labor market human

capital investments. This method robustly identifies preferences for various job attributes, free from omitted variable bias and considering the equilibrium job match.

Women on average have a higher willingness-to-pay (WTP) for jobs with greater work flexibility and job stability, and men have a higher WTP for jobs with higher earnings

growth. These job preferences relate to college major choices and actual job choices, and explain as much as 25 percent of the gender wage gap.