Do Workers Value Flexible Jobs? A Field Experiment
NBER Working Paper No. 25423
We explore workers’ valuation of job flexibility, using a field experiment conducted on a Chinese job board, as well as survey and observational data for the same job seekers. Our experimental job ads differ randomly in offering jobs that are flexible regarding when one works (time flexibility) or where one works (place flexibility). We find strong evidence that workers value job flexibility. Application rates are higher for flexible jobs, conditional on the salary offered. Survey evidence indicates that workers are willing to take lower pay for more flexible jobs. Finally, non-experimental job board application data do not indicate that workers value job flexibility, reinforcing the difficulty of estimating workers’ valuation of job conditions from observational data.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25423