NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Do Workers Value Flexible Jobs? A Field Experiment

Haoran He, David Neumark, Qian Weng

NBER Working Paper No. 25423
Issued in January 2019, Revised in July 2020
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

We explore workers’ valuation of job flexibility, using a field experiment conducted on a Chinese job board. Our experimental job ads differ randomly in offering jobs that are flexible regarding when one works (time flexibility) or where one works (place flexibility), and offering different salaries. Application rates are higher for flexible jobs, conditional on the salary offered, providing evidence that workers value job flexibility. Moreover, under some plausible conditions our evidence is informative about job seekers’ willingness to pay for flexible jobs of the types offered in the experiment, and points to fairly high valuation of the most flexible jobs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25423

 
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