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National Bureau of Economic Research: Gender Differences in Job Search and the Earnings Gap: Evidence from Business Majors

Patricia Cortes



In a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Patricia Cortés, Associate Professor in Markets, Public Policy, & Law, and her co-authors discuss gender differences in the job search process. By analyzing the data from nearly 3,200 undergraduate business students from 2013 to 2019, the study shows two key findings: 1) gender differences in the timing that candidates accept a job offer, and 2) over a longer job search period, the gender earnings gap narrows. The researchers cite several potential explanations for such patterns in the job search such as higher levels of risk aversion by women and higher levels of overoptimism by men. They also provide suggestions for a job search model and policies that address these particular gender differences.

Patricia Cortes is an Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law at Boston University Questrom School of Business and Associate Director of the Human Capital Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center of Boston University. She is an empirical labor economist working on international migration and gender. Her work has been published in leading economic journals, such as the Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources and Journal of Health Economics. Cortes obtained her PhD in Economics from MIT and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from La Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

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