Do Women Ask? – Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
This paper explores one of the famous puzzles of the modern workplace. Across the industrialized world, female workers typically earn less than their male counterparts. It is not completely understood why this pattern one consistent with the existence of gender discrimination—persists.1 The paper is able to draw upon an unusual form of survey evidence. Using new data, it revisits two ideas that have been put forward, in different forms, in writings in the industrial relations, psychology, social science, and labor economics literatures. They can be expressed in a simplified form as:
Idea 1. In certain circumstances, women may have a lower propensity than men to ask for pay raises and promotions;
Idea 2. Women may be reluctant to “ask,” because that might be viewed by their manager as pushy or “out-of-role” behavior for a female.