IN ADDITION TO THE DEMOGRAPHIC, company/team, tasks, and tools variables used to create the linear model, we include two additional variables: bargaining skills and employability. In both cases, respondents are prompted to self-evaluate their skill based on a 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) scale. We know the results are likely subjective and imprecise (for example, bargaining skills are difficult to quantify and likely inconsistent) but we think the results and model would suffer if we ignore the topic. It seems fairly clear, for example, that if someone routinely accepts lowball offers without putting up any fight, they will earn less than someone who bargains more aggressively (even if they are just as talented, experienced, and hardworking as the latter). Most respondents (66%) self-reported a bargaining score of 3 or 4, with 12% reporting a score of 5. Unsurprisingly, each bargaining “point” corresponded to a higher salary.

The other question, also on a five-point scale, was the ease of finding a new position, assuming “that the new job is more or less equivalent to your current one, in terms of compensation, workload, and your interest in the work.” Again, this is highly hypothetical and subjective, but is similarly hard to ignore.

If someone knows (and crucially, if their employer knows) that they could walk out today from their at-will employment and find equivalent work elsewhere, the employer is likely to be willing to pay more. In this sense, ease of finding work is ...

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