Salary History Bans and Hiring Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Early Career Reseach Award
How does banning firms from seeking applicants’ wage histories affect employment and salary offers? We implement a field experiment in which recruiters evaluate job applications that randomly include or exclude salary information questions and disclosures. The experiment mimics laws passed in Massachusetts, California, New York City, and Chicago that ban these questions. Applicants also vary by gender and whether their previous salaries were high or low in the distribution of their previous firm’s salaries. We test several hypotheses about how salary disclosure might affect firms’ wage offers, firms’ expected surplus, and gender wage inequality.