Shocking offers: Gender, wage inequality, and recessions in online labor markets

A woman uses her laptop while dressed in professional attire and sitting on a sofa


Using data from the largest online job portal in Nigeria, we document: (a) gender differences in salary offers for jobs, and (b) the response of (a) to recessions. Jobs in industries, where the number of job applicants skews female, offer lower starting salaries than jobs in industries where applicants skew male. During Nigeria’s 2016 recession, overall job applications rose, but applications to jobs in industries that skew male increased more than applications to jobs in industries that skew female. Salary offers fell sharply for jobs in male-skewed industries compared to female-skewed industries. In accordance with this relative shift in applications, in 2016, the salary-offer gender gap almost disappeared.