Gender Differences in Negotiations and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from an Information Intervention with College Students

Last registered on February 16, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Gender Differences in Negotiations and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from an Information Intervention with College Students
Initial registration date
February 14, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
February 16, 2024, 4:13 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Boston University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
National University of Singapore
PI Affiliation
University of Michigan
PI Affiliation
New York University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
NSF SES-1824469
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We assess the role of information gaps in understanding gender differences in negotiation behavior by conducting a randomized information experiment on the 2018 to 2020 graduating cohorts of undergraduate business majors from Boston University. Prior to starting their job search, treated students were provided with objective information about the gender gap in negotiation among their peers along with the earnings changes conditional on negotiating. We find sizable immediate effects on negotiation intentions that persist to actual negotiation behavior, particularly for men. While the treatment affects women's negotiation behavior through belief-updating, the effects on men's behavior are primarily through increased salience of the information. Further, we find some evidence that gender-specific treatment spillovers likely contribute to the smaller average treatment effects on behavior for women. Overall, our findings suggest that such information interventions can help to nudge women who have potentially large financial returns to negotiation to realize these gains.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Cortes, Patricia et al. 2024. "Gender Differences in Negotiations and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from an Information Intervention with College Students." AEA RCT Registry. February 16.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Negotiation behavior, more specifically, if the student reports having negotiated their initial salary or non-monetary dimensions of the offer.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Annual salary, job satisfaction.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The intervention took place in two mandatory modules that Questrom students typically take in their junior and senior year. Module instructors set aside about 10 minutes of class time for students to complete the online survey (that embedded the information intervention) in-class. The survey experiment consisted of three main stages. At baseline, we elicited students' expectations about the likelihood of negotiating various aspects of their first job after graduation, their perceived increase in total compensation (conditional on reporting a positive likelihood of negotiating some monetary aspect of the offer), as well as their beliefs about the negotiation behavior of recent Questrom undergraduate business majors by gender. In the next stage, we provided a randomly selected subsample of students (two-thirds of the sample) with information about the male-to-female ratio of the share of alumni who negotiated some monetary aspect of their starting job offer and the reported increase in starting salary resulting from negotiation. The remaining one-third of the sample (the control group) was not provided with any additional information. In the final stage, we re-elicited the intended likelihood of negotiation as well as perceived salary changes due to negotiation from all respondents. To investigate the impacts of the information on actual negotiation behavior, we conducted a follow-up survey about seven months post-graduation, where typically, about 90\% of students have secured jobs.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by survey monkey.
Randomization Unit
individual student.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treated: 937, Control: 500
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Boston University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number