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Visiting Scholar: Patricia Cortes

Thursday, February 01
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM


Dr. Patricia Cortes is an empirical labor economist working on international migration and gender. In her work, she has studied how low-skilled immigration affects prices and the labor supply of high skilled women in the US, female migration flows in East Asia, the migration of Filipino nurses to the US and the role of the demand for time flexibility in explaining gender pay gaps and occupation segregation. Her ongoing projects include a study on the barriers to female labor force participation in Saudi Arabia and an investigation of gender differences in negotiation and job search using experimental methods. Cortes obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from La Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.


Student Lecture: 1 February 2024

Mind the Gap: Why Pay Equity Remains Elusive

This lecture investigates the factors behind the persistent gender disparities in the labor market, with a special focus on underexplored determinants such as gender norms, workplace flexibility, and gender differences in psychological attributes. We will also examine the design and effectiveness of public and corporate policies in reducing gender inequality.

Faculty Lecture: 2 February 2024

Gender Differences in Negotiations and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from an Information Intervention with College Students
We assess the role of information gaps in understanding gender differences in negotiation behavior by conducting a randomized information experiment on the 2018 to 2020 graduating cohorts of undergraduate business majors from Boston University. Prior to starting their job search, treated students were provided with objective information about the gender gap in negotiation among their peers along with the earnings changes conditional on negotiating. We find sizable immediate effects on negotiation intentions that persist to actual negotiation behavior, particularly for men. While the treatment affects women's negotiation behavior through belief-updating, the effects on men's behavior are primarily through increased salience of the information. Further, we find some evidence that gender-specific treatment spillovers likely contribute to the smaller average treatment effects on behavior for women. Overall, our findings suggest that such information interventions can help to nudge women who have potentially large financial returns to negotiation to realize these gains.