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Jessica Pearlman

Research Findings

Gender differences in wage gains following a job change

November 22, 2018

Americans love to change their jobs. One of the primary reasons many individuals change companies is undoubtedly the promise of higher wages. Recently however, researchers have begun to examine the extent to which changing jobs benefits men more than women.

The reasons men may see a larger salary increase than women following a job change can be classified into two broad categories. The first category involves the characteristics and treatment of individual men and women.  Examples include gender discrimination in hiring practices as well as gender role socialization, e.g. women being reluctant to negotiate for higher wages in the hiring process out of a fear of being or being perceived as too aggressive.

The second category relates to the fact that men and women tend to be employed in different occupations, e.g. occupational segregation. Not only do the occupations that tend to employ men typically pay more, these occupations may also offer greater potential for “job-shopping”, e.g. raising one’s salary by finding a position at a competing firm that is willing and able to pay higher wages.

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