Working papers

The central role of the ask gap in gender pay inequality (JMP)

Abstract: The gender ask gap measures the extent to which women ask for lower salaries than comparable men. This paper studies the role of the ask gap in generating wage inequality using novel data from, a leading online recruitment platform for full time engineering jobs in the United States. To use the platform, job candidates must post an ask salary, stating how much they want to make in their next job. Firms then apply to candidates by offering a bid salary they are willing to pay the candidate. If the candidate is hired, final salary is recorded. After adjusting for resume characteristics, the ask gap is 3.3%, the bid gap is 2.4% and the gap in final offers is 1.8%. Remarkably, further controlling for the ask salary explains all of the gender gaps in bid and final salary on the platform. To estimate the market-level effects of an increase in women’s ask salary, I exploit a sudden change in how candidates were prompted to provide their ask salary. For a subset of candidates, in mid-2018, the answer box used to solicit the ask salary went from an empty field to a pre-filled entry with the median salary on the platform for a similar candidate. Comparing candidates creating a profile before and after the feature change, I find that this change drove the ask gap and the bid gap to zero. In addition, women received the same number of bids before and after the change, suggesting they face little penalty for demanding wages comparable to men.

Presented at: NBER Summer Institute Labor Studies, 3rd IDSC of IZA/University of LuxembourgWorkshop: Matching Workers and Jobs Online, UC Berkeley Labor Lunch Seminar, UC Berkeley Labor Seminar, Paris School of Economics Applied Economics Seminar (scheduled)
Media coverage: Bloomberg

Tax evasion and the Swiss cheese regulation

Abstract: Before automatic exchange of information, the 2005 Savings Tax Directive was the most far-ranging initiative in the attempt to curb tax evasion of European households in Switzerland. Under this program, European tax evaders holding interest-yielding accounts in Switzerland had two choices: either declare their accounts to the fiscal authorities of their resident countries or pay a tax upfront and keep their anonymity. Exploiting a unique combination of public administrative datasets, this paper sheds light on the loopholes of this reform and the large behavioral responses of tax evaders aimed at exploiting them. I find that the reform barely curbed tax evasion : 80% of the European offshore wealth in Switzerland remained both undeclared and untaxed by 2013. Using the Swiss households’ investments as a control group, I show that the failure of the Directive is mainly explained by tax evaders’ active re-investment strategies in tax-exempt assets. While they remain fairly low, declarations of offshore wealth under the Directive have more than quadrupled over the period 2006-2013. This paper demonstrates that monetary incentives, such as tax amnesties in the evader’s home country or the increase in the upfront tax in Switzerland, are the first drivers of declarations. Conversely, bilateral information exchange treaties that were praised as a way to “end bank secrecy” have the least effect on declarations.

Presented at: Paris School of Economics Applied Economics Seminar
Media coverage: Le Monde

Works in progress

Biased Beliefs about Outside Options and Wage Inequality (with Simon Jäger, Benjamin Schoefer and Christopher Roth)

Revealed Preference Job Ladders (with Benjamin Scuderi)
Presented at: UC Berkeley Labor Lunch Seminar

Asymmetric Peer Effects: How White Peers Shape Black Turnover (with Elizabeth Linos and Sanaz Mobasseri)
Presented at: Harvard Economic Sociology seminar (by co-author)