This study aims at identifying the effects of different policy options to support the proper enforcement of the equal pay principle.
We will implement an incentivized online experiment in three EU member states: Poland, Spain, and Germany. Further, two samples within each member state are being recruited: a representative sample of the employed adult population, and a sample of HR professionals and managers. The first sample, representing employees in the experiment, will be representative in terms of age, gender, and region. The second sample, representing employers in the experiment, will be drawn from a cross-section of sectors and companies of different sizes and will be balanced in terms of gender.
Employees and employers will form a company and they will take decisions affecting each other's payoffs. In particular, employers will know the gender and have incomplete information about the potential performance of prospective employees. Employers will set the wages and career promotions under a budgetary constraint. Employees will work for their employers, deciding the level of effort they wish to exert, and receive a wage in exchange.
The experimental methodology translates real policy options into the following experimental conditions:
- Option 0: No change of policy (baseline scenario).
- Option 1: Right of employees to information on pay levels. Employees receive information on their wage and position, how many men and women work in the company, and the average wage overall and by gender, but only for their position. This information will be provided automatically.
- Option 2: Reporting on Pay. Employees receive information on their wage and position, how many men and women work in the company and in each position, and the average wage overall and by gender, for each position in the company.
The study aims at investigating the following outcome variables:
– Average level of gender pay discrimination under each treatment (employer’s behaviour);
– Employees productivity and inferred effort;
– Employee’s (costly) action against employer (contentiousness).
At the end of the experiment a post-experimental survey will be administered to respondents. The post-experimental survey consists of a set of closed general socio-demographic questions, not sensitive in nature (i.e. gender, age, employment status, hours worked per week, education). Furthermore, a number of behavioural measures, such ask risk preferences, fairness, reciprocity, and intrinsic motivation, are included. Lastly, the elicitation of beliefs on own and others performance, as well as others strategic behaviour, will be incorporated by means of incentivised introspection.