Preference for the workplace, investment in human capital, and gender

Matthew Wiswall, Basit Zafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


We use a hypothetical choice methodology to estimate preferences for workplace attributes from a sample of high-ability undergraduates attending a highly selective university.We estimate that 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 to actual job choices reported in a follow-up survey four years after graduation. The gender differences in preferences explain at least a quarter of the early career gender wage gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-507
Number of pages51
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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