What is The Price of Freedom?: Estimating Women's Willingness to Pay for Job Schedule Flexibility

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Apr 2020
We conducted a discrete choice experiment to elicit revealed preferences of low-income women for job flexibility. We did so without deception reversing the methodology proposed by Kessler et al. (2019) for job seekers. We contrast the role of flexible time schedule with that of part-time employment. We find large willingness-to-pay for flexible schedule within a full-time contract but much less desire to trade-off wages for part-time contracts. This is not driven by inattention although participants appear to learn over the course of the experiment. We find that the willingness-to-pay for flexible work arrangement is largest for those with higher family income, more educated women and those out of the labor force, suggesting that flexibility is a luxury good. Demand for part-time employment is highest amongst those with children and older women, suggesting that part-time employment may be more responsive to time demands. We also find our estimates reflect self-declared preferences and provides evidence that public policies that foster higher flexibility could lead to higher female labor force participation.