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Abstract The literature has studied key drivers of occupational segregation under an implicit assumption of complete information. The representative argument is that women have stronger preferences over non-pecuniary attributes of jobs and opt into sectors with lower wages. However, evidence shows that male-dominated sectors generally provide not only higher wages but also better non-wage amenities. To understand this puzzle from supply side, this project focuses on the role of information frictions that hinder college job seekers from making educated choices in short time horizon of their initial job search. I propose a novel survey experiment on 1,100 senior undergraduates in Korea, which is designed to test the hypothesis that students have very inaccurate information on the gaps between the core attributes of male-dominated sectors and female-dominated sectors. Based on the examination on the severe biases, a randomized intervention of directly providing accurate information on pre-specified sectors and attributes calculated from recent graduates is administered to see whether the segregation in aspirations and search behaviors is alleviated. The literature has studied key drivers of occupational segregation under an implicit assumption of complete information. The representative argument is that women have stronger preferences over non-pecuniary attributes of jobs and opt into sectors with lower wages. However, evidence shows that male-dominated sectors generally provide not only higher wages but also better non-wage amenities. To understand this puzzle from the supply side, this project focuses on the role of information frictions that may hinder young female job seekers from making educated choices in their initial job search. I propose a novel survey experiment on 1,000 senior undergraduates in Korea, designed to test the hypothesis that students have inaccurate information on the gaps between the core attributes of male-dominated and female-dominated sectors. The randomized intervention provides accurate information on pre-specified job attributes of several sectors, calculated from a representative survey of recent graduates. Impacts are then traced on gender segregation in aspirations, information acquisition during job search, search intensity and direction, and sectoral allocation.
Trial End Date February 28, 2022 August 31, 2022
Last Published October 07, 2021 04:23 PM October 21, 2021 11:53 PM
Intervention (Public) The study consists of three rounds of surveys – the baseline, the second, and the final survey. The baseline survey is administered in the beginning of the senior students’ last semester (Fall 2021) with a randomized treatment. The sample is divided into three groups: Group 1 is male students without information treatment, Group 2 is female students without information treatment, and Group 3 is female students with information treatment. At the baseline, Group 1 and 2 are compared to identify the existence of information frictions and their contributions to occupational segregation in college graduates’ job market. The survey includes rich questions about diverse job search methods and the search process, enabling the in-depth analysis that links heterogeneous search costs to gender gaps in the information set. Group 2 and 3 (both females) are compared for the experimental evaluation of the impact of provision of information on the segregation. Group 3 (treatment group) is to be provided with the accurate information on four key characteristics – wages, work hours, welfare level, and job seekers – of representative job sectors (which include both male-dominated sectors and female-dominated sectors) that are calculated from the nationally-representative survey of the first jobs of college graduates. To secure the salience of the intervention, we adopt various strategies. To make sure that the participants read and understand the numbers, we let them write down the numbers in the information table in the blanks and evaluate whether those numbers are larger or smaller than expected. Furthermore, we provide numbers in relative terms to the benchmark sector so that participants can compare the numbers without difficulty. In general, we try to make students realize the gaps in different jobs in a cognitively easy way and observe whether this treatment affects their decision making in real settings. The study consists of three rounds of surveys – the baseline, the first follow-up, and the second follow-up (end-line). The baseline survey is administered in the beginning of the senior students’ last semester (Fall 2021) with a randomized treatment. A sample of senior college students with humanity and social sciences majors is collected and divided into three groups: Group 1 is male students without the information treatment, Group 2 is female students without the information treatment, and Group 3 is female students the with information treatment. At baseline, Group 1 and 2 are compared to identify the existence of information frictions and their contributions to occupational segregation in college graduates’ job market. The survey includes rich questions about diverse job search methods and the search process, enabling the in-depth analysis that links heterogeneous search costs and information acquisition strategies to gender gaps in the information set of job-seekers, their aspirations and expectations. Group 2 and 3 (both females) are compared for the experimental evaluation of the impact of provision of information on segregation. Group 3 (treatment group) is to be provided with the accurate information on four key characteristics – wages, work hours, welfare level, and job security – of representative job sectors (which include both male-dominated sectors and female-dominated sectors) that are calculated from the nationally-representative survey (annual Graduates Occupational Mobility Survey) of the first jobs of college graduates. To secure the salience of the intervention, we adopt various strategies. To make sure that the participants read and understand the content of the information treatment, we let them write down the numbers provided in the information table in the blanks and evaluate whether those numbers are larger or smaller than expected. Furthermore, we provide numbers in relative terms to the benchmark sector so that participants can compare the numbers without difficulty. In general, we try to make students realize the gaps in different jobs in a cognitively easy way and observe whether this treatment affects their decision making in real settings.
Intervention End Date October 11, 2021 December 31, 2021
Primary Outcomes (End Points) Number (scope) of job sectors searched/applied for Composition of job sectors searched/applied for Aspirations to sectors Firm choices for the tailored job information newsletter Sectors/firms searched and applied for
Experimental Design (Public) Two groups (500 per each) of female senior undergraduate students are selected randomly. Group 2 and 3 are compared for the experimental evaluation of the impact of provision of information on the segregation. Group 2 (control group) is asked about their beliefs on four key characteristics – wages, work hours, welfare level, and job seekers – of seven representative job sectors (which include both male-dominated sectors and female-dominated sectors). Group 3 (treatment group) is to be provided with the accurate information on those characteristics that are calculated from the nationally-representative survey of the first jobs of college graduates. Two months after the treatment, we administer the second survey that measures changes in students’ beliefs. It first asks students about their beliefs on the four characteristics and see whether the treatment effect was salient enough. As a next step, this survey asks students to select among the list of the firms about which they want to subscribe to "tailored job information newsletter" that we provide. The list consists of real firms across male-dominated and female-dominated sectors that are posting their job ads on a representative job matching website. Students are asked to self-pick the firms and characteristics about which they want to receive the newsletters. Three months after the second survey, we administer the final survey to examine if they demonstrate different search and application behaviors. Students in both groups are asked to report all the jobs that they have searched/applied for after the baseline survey. Two groups (500 per each) of female senior undergraduate students are selected randomly. Group 2 and 3 are compared for the experimental evaluation of the impact of provision of information on the segregation. Group 2 (control group) is asked about their beliefs on four key characteristics – wages, work hours, welfare level, and job security – of seven representative job sectors (which include both male-dominated sectors and female-dominated sectors). Group 3 (treatment group) is to be provided with the accurate information on those characteristics that are calculated from the nationally-representative survey of the first jobs of college graduates. At baseline, female students' stated aspirations to each experimental sector are asked. Two months after the treatment, I administer the first follow-up survey that measures changes in students’ beliefs and intentions. It first asks students about their beliefs on the four characteristics provided in the information treatment, to document whether students have retained the information. As a next step, this survey presents students with the description of a real job information newsletter that we compile and provide. The newsletter consists of real firms across male-dominated and female-dominated sectors that are posting their job ads on a representative job matching website. Students are asked to pick the firms and characteristics about which they would like to receive tailored newsletters in the future. In this way, we can first measure the treatment effect in an incentivized choice setting. The key hypothesis is that treated female job-seekers should have: (i) higher interest in the letter and (ii) higher interest in receiving job information about male-dominated sectors. Three months after the first follow-up, when most students in the sample are supposed to have graduated and many of them have applied for jobs, I administer the second follow-up survey to examine if they demonstrate different search and application behaviors. Students in both groups are asked to report all the jobs that they have searched/applied for after the baseline survey. Students in the treatment group are hypothesized to show more wide and balanced job search and application behaviors across male and female dominated sectors than those in the control group.
Public analysis plan No Yes
Secondary Outcomes (End Points) Stated aspirations to experimental sectors Willingness to receive tailored job information newsletter Firm/characteristics choices for the tailored job information newsletter Changes in beliefs/aspirations Changes in job searching strategies
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