Journal article

Gender differences in wage expectations


  • Fernandes, Ana ORCID Institute New Work, Business School, Berner Fachhochschule, Bern, Switzerland
  • Huber, Martin ORCID Department of Economics, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Vaccaro, Giannina Swiss Centre for Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS), Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 02.06.2021
Published in:
  • PLOS ONE / Tumen, Semih. - Public Library of Science (PLoS). - 2021, vol. 16, no. 6, p. e0250892
English Using an own survey on wage expectations among students at two Swiss institutions of higher education, we examine the wage expectations of our respondents along two main lines. First, we investigate the rationality of wage expectations by comparing average expected wages from our sample with those of similar graduates; further, we examine how our respondents revise their expectations when provided information about actual wages. Second, using causal mediation analysis, we test whether the consideration of a rich set of personal and professional controls, inclusive of preferences on family formation and number of children in addition to professional preferences, accounts for the difference in wage expectations across genders. Results suggest that both males and females overestimate their wages compared to actual ones and that males respond in an overconfident manner to information about realized wages. Personal mediators alone cannot explain the indirect effect of gender on wage expectations; however, when combined with professional mediators, this results in a quantitatively large reduction in the unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations. Nonetheless, a non-negligible and statistically significant direct (or unexplained) effect of gender on wage expectations remains in several, but not all specifications.
Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales et du management
Département d'économie politique
  • English
Open access status
Persistent URL

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