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Inequality at Work: The Effect of Peer Salaries on Job Satisfaction

Author(s): Card, David; Mas, Alexandre; Moretti, Enrico; Saez, Emmanuel

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Abstract: We study the effect of disclosing information on peers' salaries on workers' job satisfaction and job search intentions. A randomly chosen subset of University of California employees was informed about a new website listing the pay of University employees. All employees were then surveyed about their job satisfaction and job search intentions. Workers with salaries below the median for their pay unit and occupation report lower pay and job satisfaction and a significant increase in the likelihood of looking for a new job. Above-median earners are unaffected. Differences in pay rank matter more than differences in pay levels.
Publication Date: Oct-2012
Citation: Card, David, Mas, Alexandre, Moretti, Enrico, Saez, Emmanuel. (2012). Inequality at Work: The Effect of Peer Salaries on Job Satisfaction. American Economic Review, 102 (6), 2981 - 3003. doi:10.1257/aer.102.6.2981
DOI: doi:10.1257/aer.102.6.2981
ISSN: 0002-8282
Pages: 2981 - 3003
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: American Economic Review
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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